While the majority of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease are in their late 60’s and early 70’s, the disease and the cognitive decline can actually begin to develop 20 years prior.
- Get Tested
Prof Bredesen advises anyone over the age of 45 to see their doctor and have their brain checked.
“There are sets of tests that you can get that will tell you why you are at risk, or if you are at risk. Ask for a set of biochemical and genetic tests,” he says.
“The goal is to change your body chemistry so that you are able to make and store synapses – literally make and store memories – instead of being on the side of reorganising and forgetting”, he said.
“What we find is that Alzheimer’s Disease patients are all on the side of destroying these synapses,” he says.
- Know Your Fasting Insulin Level
People who are pre-diabetic or have diabetes are at an increased risk of cognitive decline and developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
“One of the best tests you can get is fasting insulin. Knowing what your fasting insulin is tells you whether you are on your way to pre-diabetes. It’s an early marker,” Prof Bredesen says.
He also recommends people improve their insulin sensitivity by cutting sugars and simple carbohydrates, and advises that fasting a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast can be beneficial.
- Understand Cognitive Baseline
For anyone concerned that they have already undergone some level of cognitive decline, it’s vital to test the cognitive baseline and start playing brain games to improve it.
- Take Care of Yourself
It’s vital that people begin to take responsibility for their own health – both physical and mental health.
Carers, in particular, must look after their health since they are at an increased risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.
“There should be support for the carers because this is a whole disease process onto itself,” Prof Bredesen says.
“They are under tremendous stress. And they do increase stress-related illnesses. What I say to them is number one, you should also get checked out. See where you stand because you’re having the stress, and stress is part of the risk for cognitive decline.”
Oxley Home Care provides Dementia Care, Private Care, Home Care, Nursing and Allied Health to enable people to live a quality life independently in their own home and stay connected to their local community.
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