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10 tips to avoid Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Michael Mullan President of Roskamp Institute 2012 Sarasota , FL. Our risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. Demographically the world population is aging - particularly quickly in advanced societies

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10 tips to avoid alzheimer s disease

10 tips to avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Michael Mullan

President of Roskamp Institute


Sarasota, FL

our risk for alzheimer s disease
Our risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Demographically the world population is aging - particularly quickly in advanced societies
  • Risk for the disease is impacted by genetics but also by many lifestyle choices
  • Despite genetic predisposition risk for the disease can be altered by modifying lifestyle
1 stay physically active
1. Stay physically active
  • Direct relationship between physical activity and protection against Alzheimer’s disease
  • Open questions:
    • How much activity is required?
    • How long ?
    • What type of activity?
2 eat well
2. Eat well
  • Diets which resemble the “Mediterranean Diet” lower the risk for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mediterranean diet consists of :
    • high amounts of vegetables, fruits, legumes and cereals
    • low intake of saturated fats and relatively high intake of olive oil
    • moderate fish intake
    • low to moderate intake of dairy products
    • low consumption of meat
    • low to moderate consumption of wine
  • This diet is also associated with other health benefits such as cardiovascular health
3 mental exercise use it or lose it
3. Mental Exercise- Use it or Lose it
  • Educational status protects against onset of Alzheimer’s disease
    • Cognitive stimulation in mouse models of Alzheimer’s reduces Alzheimer pathology
  • How much should we do? What should we do?
    • Games vs. hard learning
    • Integration of different brain areas and different skills
4 manage medical risk factors aggressively
4. Manage medical risk factors aggressively
  • Common disorders increase our risk for Alzheimer’s disease
    • Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension
  • This risk is independent of risk for cerebrovascular dementia
  • What can we do?
    • Tight monitoring of blood sugar levels in diabetics, blood pressure in hypertensives, arrhythmia in those with rhythm abnormalities and maintain a healthy weight
5 sleep well
5. Sleep well
  • Sleep deprivation is associated with errors of judgment, inattention and memory problems
  • Brain organizes information overnight and consolidates memories
    • Poor sleep patterns stop consolidation and increase inattention
6 drink well
6. Drink well
  • J-shaped relationship between alcohol risk for dementia
  • Abstainers at higher risk than drinkers
  • Excess drinking increases risk
  • Modest consumption is protective
  • Red wine better than other alcohol

? Polyphenols

7 supplements and vitamins
7. Supplements and Vitamins
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate deficiency is associated with memory loss and risk for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Other vitamins not shown to reduce risk when supplemented
  • Take away message – Don’t be deficient by excess vitamins > not preventative
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation
    • Still being tested > ratio of Omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids importance
    • Most diets deficient in Omega-3
  • Other supplements seem protective (Curcumin)
  • But others don’t (Ginkgo Biloba)
8 don t smoke
8. Don’t smoke
  • Data is contradictory, but overall smoking increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  • Nicotine itself might be helpful when not taken by cigarette
  • Cerebrovascular disease caused by smoking interacts extremely negative with Alzheimer pathology
9 don t hit your head
9. Don’t hit your head
  • Traumatic brain injury increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple repeat injuries worse than single large blows in general
  • Wear protective head gear
  • Increase balance and strength in the elderly Head injuries due to falls major cause of increased risk
10 putting it all together
10. Putting it all together
  • Not one activity but many
  • Small changes in several aspects of lifestyle probably better than huge changes in one area
  • Sustainable lifestyle better than short-lived enthusiasm
  • Enjoy the new regimen!