A recent international survey identified Alzheimer’s as the second most feared disease, behind cancer. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by progressive damage to nerve cells and their connections. The result is devastating and includes memory loss, impaired thinking, difficulties with verbal communication, and even personality changes. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may live anywhere from two to 20 years after diagnosis. Those years are spent in an increasingly dependent state that exacts a staggering emotional, physical, and economic toll on families.
A number of factors influence the likelihood that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these you can’t control, such as age, gender, and family history. But there are things you can do to help lower your risk. As it turns out, the mainstays of a healthy lifestyle — exercise, watching your weight, and eating right — appear to lower Alzheimer’s risk.
Get this Special Health Report that includes in-depth information on diagnosing Alzheimer’s and treating its symptoms. Because caring for someone with Alzheimer’s continues to be one of the toughest jobs in the world, the report includes help for family members and caregivers, as well as for the individuals with Alzheimer’s.
Because the disease is progressive, coping with it requires foresight and careful advance planning. People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s often can be partners in that planning, and this comprehensive report can guide you, as well. You’ll find tips for coping with daily routines and challenges, getting financial and legal documents in order, investigating long-term care options, and determining what services are covered by health insurance and Medicare.
Prepared by the editors of Harvard Health Publications in collaboration with John H. Growdon, M.D., Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, and Director, Memory and Movement Disorders Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital. 48 pages. (2012)
For more on ways to help prevent Alzheimer’s as well as information on diagnosing and treating it, purchase A Guide to Alzheimer’s disease by Harvard Medical School.
SOURCE: ARTICLE FROM HARVARD HEALTH PUBLICATIONS