Environment Does Play a Role in Development of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is is a chronic neurodegenerative disease where genetics play an important role. But it is not the sole factor in this disease development. Environment has a great role with the progression of this neurodegenerative disorder. Moreover, it is now known that the right kind of nutrition and lifestyle may play preventive role in many cases.
Let us look at the factors that have been strongly linked with neurodegeneration, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Exposure to toxic elements and pesticides
Neurodegeneration occurs due to chronic low-level exposure to poisoning with heavy metals and pesticides. In fact a long term exposure to lead has been shown to cause a decrease in memory and progressive decline in mental functions.
On a contrast, Aluminium is used as an additive in various commercially available food products, food colorants and even used in water purification. There’s an increasing evident that it may be playing a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Air Pollution & Unhealthy lifestyle
Air pollution is something that many of us are exposed to from a young age and unfortunately we don’t have much choice. Polluted air contains a toxic mix of organic and non-organic compounds from vehicles and industries. Obesity and unhealthy lifestyle are now killing more people than any other disease. Research shows that the risk of risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases by 6 times in obese people and with high blood pressure or high cholesterol level.
Physical & Social Activities
Physical activities decrease the risk of almost any disease and same is the case in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from being physically active, it’s equally important to stay mentally active. Older people who continue to participate in social activities such as learning new things, reading, meeting people and listening music have a lower chance of declines in brain function. These things help them to stay mentally active.
In short, involving in social activity not only decreases stress but may also prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Psychological Stress is one of the reason in increased level of stress hormones (cortisol) and is damaging for brain functionality. Depression and anxiety in young people and middle-aged adults are more common these days and is thought to increase the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s later.
Nutrition is the most important factor that can either prevent or aggregate mental decline. Diets with saturated fat and cholesterol are harmful and could be the reason for stroke and cardiac diseases.
Brain is mainly made of fats and hence it is important to have a balanced diet. Omega-3 obtained from fish oil, soya oil and walnuts, has shown to be neuroprotective.
By avoiding unconditional triggers in the environment and living a healthy, active life, one may expect to remain mentally alert until ripe old age.