When we think about dementia, we only consider it as a degenerative disease commonly suffered by seniors. However, the more research is being done to further widen our understanding of such diseases, the more we discover that they are not limited to old age. In fact, our brain and our heart may have a closer relationship than we had first imagined them to be.
One of these researches involves a recent finding in London that dementia can develop if someone does not take good care of their heart. According to Dr. Simon Ridley, the head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, “what’s good for the heart is good of the brain” and the research has made links that damaged blood vessels in the brain plays a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the findings, researchers have come to a conclusion that people can lower their risk of developing dementia together with heart disease and diabetes if they would focus on losing weight and by keeping watch of their blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In addition to that the researchers also recommend people to pursue a healthy lifestyle and diet to help care for their blood vessels and that smokers should give up on smoking. Nonsmokers are encouraged to not start on the habit. Regular exercise is also a big help to prevent these diseases. A decrease in the consumption of alcohol is also seen as another prospective way of improving one’s health. Finally, it is highly encouraged that one should get an adequate amount of sleep (about 8 hours a day) every day. These also extend to mental illnesses where if you are suffering from such illnesses like as depression and anxiety, it is highly recommended that one seeks professional help.
Dr. Ridley further adds that the research has led them to a better understanding of the links between Alzheimer’s and circulatory health as well as to provide new insight on how these diseases could be prevented and treated.
The groundbreaking findings were spearheaded by the University of Southampton’s professor of neuropathology, James Nicoll, where the team made use of brain tissue from patients who have died from dementia as a basis. There, the team found that the presence of built-up protein amyloids in the blood vessels within the brain showing that this build-up can damage muscle cells in the long run. These proteins are believed to be the culprits behind Alzheimer’s disease.
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