Question: Can you kindly tell me what precautions I can take so I don’t get Alzheimer’s disease? My father had it and I sometimes forget things I shouldn’t. I’m 53.
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
The answer is in your genetics. But since we cannot change that, we must preserve the brain tissue we have and avoid damaging and scarring it. We also need to preserve our circulation to our brain, since this is the main source of the nutrients needed to have this wonderful tissue perform the work it does so well.
Here are my 10 points for memory maintenance:
- Avoid smoking and all smoke exposure. This is a circulation killer.
- Don’t abuse psychoactive drugs. They short-circuit and stress the circuits of brain cells and some have been shown to cause early and irreparable loss of nerve tissue. Nerve tissue does not regenerate the same way that other tissue does, so we are wise to avoid nerve-damaging medications and foods.
- Alcohol excess is also associated with dementia, so don't consumer more than two drinks per day.
- Engage in brain-stimulating tasks. There is good evidence people who who challenge their memory and reasoning skills can stave off memory loss and preserve their mental functions better than those who don't.
- Take good care of your nutritional and cardiac health, since both are essential for proper brain function.
- Stay health by making sure you are getting proper vaccinations and treatments to avoid preventable diseases that can compromise brain function.
- Maintain a healthy immune system by getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, practicing some form of stress reduction and management, and eating a healthy diet.
- Avoid X-ray exposure or other radiation to the brain, whenever possible.
- Manage health problems that affect brain function and memory retention, including seizure disorders, and hormonal and nutritional deficiencies.
- Recognize that mental health has a direct effect on physical health, the brain, and memory.
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