5 Strategies That May Slow the Progress of Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s well known that Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia cause memory loss and other serious cognitive changes. And unfortunately, those changes are not reversible.

But here’s some good news: research suggests that the cognitive decline that is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s can be delayed with certain strategies, including lifestyle changes. Here’s a look at five of those tactics and how you or a loved one can implement them into daily life.

1. Stimulate the brain through mental activity

Studies show that increased brain activity can slow cognitive decline later in life. Some enjoyable activities that engage the mind include:

  • Reading
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Doing crosswords and puzzle books
  • Writing
  • Playing strategic games such as chess
  • Learning a new language

Research also suggests that brain-stimulating activities are even more useful when they involve interacting with other people. At the least, the activity should be something you enjoy and are capable of doing without frustration.

2. Daily exercise

Exercise is not only good for your body—studies show that it can slow cognitive decline, too. Plus, physical activity can help boost your mood and emotional well being, making it easier to cope with Alzheimer’s disease. This doesn’t have to mean trying to get your loved one to join a gym—a recent study shows that even short, frequent walks can be an effective therapeutic strategy for those with early-stage Alzheimer’s.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Start by incorporating some active time, such as a walk around the block, into you or loved one’s routine so that it becomes a daily habit.
  • Make sure the activities suit your physical capabilities. Even household chores or walking around the house can provide beneficial exercise.
  • If you’re taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s, exercise is also way to do things together. You’ll feel better mentally, and it will lessen the stresses that come with caregiving.

3. Medications

There are five Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs that have been shown to delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s or prevent them from worsening.

The catch is that not every drug works for all patients. Additionally, each drug has potential side effects and may not be suitable with other medications your loved one is already taking. You should always talk with your physician before starting any new medication.

Typically, however, drugs such as Aricept, Razadyne, and Exelon are effective for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.  The drug Namenda is prescribed for Alzheimer’s patients in the moderate to severe stages of the disease.

4. Changes in daily life

There are a variety of tweaks you can make to you or loved one’s daily routine, including simplifying their living environment as much as possible. Here are some helpful strategies:

Minimize the tasks that may be causing you stress. Some of the ways you can do this are through an electronic bill-paying system, hiring a lawn service, having someone else do your laundry, and keeping your home free of clutter.

You can also use electronic reminder systems and other tools that will help you remember day-to-day tasks.

Whatever changes you make, however, it’s important to implement them gradually. Doing too much all at once is often disorienting and can add more stress.

5. Vitamins

While the jury still may be out regarding the overall effectiveness of vitamins in treating cognitive decline, studies suggest that vitamin E—an antioxidant that protects cells—may help those with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s function better in daily life.

Research conducted by Oxford University shows that consuming B vitamins, which occur naturally in foods like fish, poultry and eggs, may also slow cognitive decline. Alzheimer’s sufferers should maintain a diet that’s low in saturated fat and rich in vitamins E, B, and C.

 

 

198 comments

Janis K
Janis K10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Beverly D
Beverly D10 months ago

I indeed agree. Thanks & God bless~

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Karyl W
Karyl Wood10 months ago

Thanks for the advice.

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Sonia M
Sonia Mabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing

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Katherine T
Katherine T1 years ago

Have always bonding to your loved ones.

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Christine J
Christine J1 years ago

Gentle exercise usually makes you feel better, no matter what the problem.

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Melania P
Melania P1 years ago

Nice tips; there are several studies that back these up. Sharing as well

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Jerome S
Jerome S1 years ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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W. C
W. C2 years ago

Thank you.

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