Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with one’s ability to execute daily tasks. This blog is a compliment to today’s podcast. The podcast features an interview with a professional from the Alzheimer’s Association.
Alzheimer’s has no cure. Currently, there are treatment options that help with the progression of the disease. Changes in the brain start long before the first signs of memory loss. Long story short, be sure to listen to the podcast for the details, but plaques and tangles in the brain lend to the issues
that cause Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer's tissue has many fewer nerve cells and synapses than a healthy brain. Plaques, abnormal clusters of protein fragments, build up between nerve cells. Dead and dying nerve cells contain tangles, which are made up of twisted strands of another protein. Without getting too technical (‘cause I’m not a doctor and I know better than to play one in this blog!) the presence of plaques around a neuron causes them to die, possibly by triggering an immune response in the immediate area. Tangles form inside of neurons and interfere with the cellular machinery used to create and recycle proteins, which ultimately kills the cell. Suffice it to say, plaques and tangles decrease your brain’s ability to function properly.
Following is a list of brain-stimulating activities that you can engage in to prevent plaques and tangles.
Reading, listening and understanding
Playing board games (Sudoku, Scrabble, etc.)
Crossword puzzles (they impact your long-term memory and the logic and reasoning portion of the brain)
Word math problems and long division
Playing sports like football and baseball
Planning and working art projects and other do it yourself projects
Learn a new skill
In closing, according to researchers, engaging in these cognitively stimulating activities can enhance brain health and help with deferring the risk of Alzheimer’s. Your brain, just like your body in general, will benefit from you remaining active. Let’s get busy people, for your body and your brain!