Trying to get excited about preventing Alzheimer’s from striking you may be a bit like getting enthused over socking money away for retirement. I understand that the notion may lead thoughts like these to pop into your head:
“I’m only (insert your age here). They’ll have a cure for Alzheimer’s long before I catch it.”
“If I get Alzheimer’s, I’m not even going to be aware that I have it. I’d rather focus on today, when I can appreciate my life.”
“I’ll die of something else long before I get Alzheimer’s.”
The truth is, people do stick back for retirement, and odds are good that most of us will live long enough to reap the rewards of our savings. As far as the reasons for not warding off Alzheimer’s, it’s never safe to presume that medicine will find a cure for a disease, since it hasn’t yet for many of them. Secondly, losing one’s cognitive ability is heartbreaking both for the person it affects and his or her loved ones.
Thirdly, by taking steps to prevent Alzheimer’s, you can also keep yourself safe from diseases that kill many people in their 50s, 40s and even earlier. New research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2011 confirms that our daily choices can make a very real impact on our risk of this disease.
In one study, researchers estimated that many cases of Alzheimer’s in America may be due to factors that we really should change anyway, like physical inactivity (21 percent), smoking (11 percent), hypertension and obesity in middle age (8 and 7 percent), and diabetes (3 percent). Other potentially changeable factors include depression (15 percent) and low education (7 percent). Reducing all seven risk factors by 25 percent could help prevent nearly half a million Alzheimer’s cases in America in coming years.
Think about how many other life-threatening diseases you can protect yourself from by getting these risk factors out of your life. Lung cancer — and many other types of cancer — heart disease, diabetes, and strokes jump to mind. You can also boost your quality of life by reducing depression with self-help strategies like exercise.
Continue reading at Huffington Post