Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. The cause and progress of the disease have not been understood well yet.
There is no available cure for the disease and it worsens over time. But certain treatments can help in slowing down the progression of the disease. It is a terminal illness where a person may eventually suffer with permanent memory loss, language problems, poor cognitive functions and other behavioural changes.
Are you at a risk?
Early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include short term memory loss, judgment, thinking and concentration difficulties, mood swings and confusion. Alzheimer's is known to first affect the part of the brain that deals with your learning capability.
The greatest risk factor is age as majority of people with Alzheimer's are usually 65 and older. It is not just an old age disease, it may affect people at a younger age but the symptoms may become prominent only later. Family history and genetics are the most common factors that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's.
Some studies show that women may be more likely to develop Alzheimer's than men. Most people consider Alzheimer's as a disease over which they have no control. But a latest report shows that certain lifestyle factors may also contribute in increasing your risk of developing Alzheimer's. These include diabetes, high Blood pressure, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and smoking.
All said and done, the actual cause of the disease still remains vague and obscure.
How can you protect yourself?
Exercising regularly reduces your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by almost 50%. Health experts opine that lifestyle modifications like engaging in physical activity and eating the right diet can delay the onset of the disease.
"Physical activity, regular check-ups and abstaining from smoking and drinking were very important for every human to avoid Alzheimer's. It is important, as in the initial stages, the patients themselves do not realise that they are suffering from memory loss and very often consider it a minor problem,"
"Meeting with friends and family members and having a large social network boost the emotional quotient. Stress clogs the mind and makes it virtually inactive, while the support system provides the healing and keeps one upbeat, at individual one should train the mind to stay calm and positive"