The Shrinking Brain: Avoiding Alzheimer’s
The Alzheimer’s disease epidemic continues to expand – some describe it as a ‘health meteor’ that’s going to strike the elderly populations in modern countries around 2025.
The good news is that great information is surfacing about how to avoid Alzheimer’s disease.
The Take Aways:
- Small Brain Syndrome: People who have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have ‘shrunken’ brains – i.e. smaller brain volumes; meaning their brains atrophy (and for you physiology nerds, their ventricles enlarge).
- Large Brain People: There are people, despite having the characteristic pathologic brain lesions commonly associated with AD, show no cognitive decline. Why? (i.e. what’s their secret?), what’s the neuroprotective mechanism in those people who don’t suffer even though they have the plaques? The answer – larger brain volume.
- Fish Oil and Larger Brains: Blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (that’s fish oil) lead to larger brain volumes (i.e. decreased brain atrophy).
- Exercise Helps Your Brain (… duh): What fires, wires. Regular exercise helps brain neurons to continually develop and stay healthy and is associated with preventing brain tissue loss and decreased incidence of Alzheimer’s.
Did you know that many scientists, doctors, researchers now refer to Alzheimer’s disease as ‘Type 3 Diabetes’? Let that percolate through your brain for a moment. High insulin levels, the physiological equivalent of terrorism, promotes neurodegeneration leading to Alzeimer’s. So, avoiding sugar and foods that act like sugar – bread, cereal, pasta, pizza, crackers – must be part of your diet style, your health regimen.
Last, because the brain is 60% fat, the synapses within the brain (the connections between neurons) are 80% fat, it critical that your fatty acid intake and omega-6 to omega-3 ratios are in line with being healthy. For more on this, read Why Omega-3.
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