10 Surprising Alzheimer’s Predictors for Chapel Hill Seniors

February 14, 2017

Over 5.2 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to increase dramatically as our population ages. Researchers have begun analyzing certain types of brain abnormalities in people with the disease. Brains of victims have plaques of beta amyloid proteins in the brain as well as tangles called tau. Both cause death of brain cells leading to memory loss. The following are predictors for being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Biomarkers are a measurable substance in a person that indicate disease. Several biomarkers correlate with Alzheimer’s such as certain proteins in spinal fluid or blood and mutations in brain imaging. Doctors have been able to find the amyloid proteins in patients.

Poor heart history is linked to Alzheimer’s. High blood pressure increases your risk as well as heart history. People who have had heart attacks are more than twice as likely to develop dementia.

Diabetes and obesity can double or quadruple your chances for getting Alzheimer’s. Exercising and eating right are good for you.

Low education and a lack of mental stimulation correlate with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Social interaction is also beneficial for helping to prevent the disease.

Lack of fruits, vegetables and spices in the diet can speed cognitive decline. Kale, squash, eggplant, collard greens and blueberries are beneficial for cognition. Also, cinnamon and turmeric have dramatic effects on your health.

Head traumas in those before age 65 showed symptoms of Alzheimer’s at an earlier age than those who had not had brain injuries. Try to avoid contact sports and wear protective head gear.

The inability to simultaneously walk and talk or a deteriorating gait can sow signs of the disease. Alzheimer’s correlated with slower or erratic walking and difficulty performing tasks like walking and counting backwards at the same time may lead to a dementia diagnosis.

Poor navigation skills can signal cognitive decline. The memory is located in the hippocampus part of the brain and disorientation is a hallmark of the disease.

Depression and social isolation may lead to developing Alzheimer’s. Depression throughout life especially in the later years can cause dementia.

Sleep disorders have been linked to cognitive deficits. Those with Alzheimer’s biomarkers were found to be terrible sleepers and spending more time in bed awake and napping more frequently during the day.
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