Alzheimer’s Disease – You Can Do Something About It

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, HSM and other resistance-training exercises requiring your attention and coordination improve brain functionality. Adding more fuel to our fire, new research unveiled this July in Paris at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference proves that taking care of your body will help save your mind.

A common misconception is that you’re “dealt a deck of cards at birth,” Mayo Clinic dementia specialist Dr. Ronald Petersen said, but “people need not just sit back and watch this unfold. We can do something about this.”

What Petersen and a growing number of researchers and specialists are advocating is preventative treatment to the body (exercise) to save the mind from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The new study used a mathematical model to estimate the impact of top modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease: smoking, depression, low education, diabetes, too little exercise, and obesity and high blood pressure in mid-life. Researchers calculated the impact globally as well as just for the United States.

Worldwide, the biggest impact on Alzheimer’s cases is low education. Low education can be a sign of many factors that harm minds, such as poor nutrition. But it also is harmful by itself, because there is less opportunity to develop “brain power” that can carry you into old age. Smoking had the second biggest impact on cases worldwide, followed by too little exercise.

However in the United States, inactivity is the leading problem because a third of the population is sedentary. Depression made the next biggest impact on Alzheimer’s cases in the U.S., followed by smoking and high blood pressure. Untreated or inadequately treated depression has long been known to raise the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Regular exercise has been proven to relieve mild depression just as well as medication. (Please see Exercise and the Brain’s Performance, http://www.hilliardstudiomethod.com/tips/exercise-and-the-brain-s-performance

Back to the leading causes of Alzheimer’s in the US: inactivity, depression, smoking and high blood pressure in mid-life—all of these treatable by gettin’ up and gettin’ moving. http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2011/07/19/alzheimers-study-health

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