Are You at Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Around 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for 60%-80% of dementia cases. While you can’t completely prevent Alzheimer’s disease, you can make changes now that might lower your risk.

Our team of compassionate health care providers here at Healthstone Primary Care offers patient-focused geriatric care, including diagnosing and managing Alzheimer’s disease.

There may not be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but with practical, personalized care, you can maintain your health and independence for a long time. 

About Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disease that causes proteins to form plaques and tangles in your brain. These abnormal changes damage your neurons, the cells responsible for sending messages through your brain and body. 

Alzheimer’s disease usually begins in the part of your brain that controls your memory, which is why one of the early signs of the disease is forgetfulness. 

As your brain breaks down, your cognitive skills and personality are also affected. Alzheimer’s disease causes symptoms that can severely impact your quality of life, including:

These symptoms can make hobbies you previously enjoyed, such as reading, reminiscing, and singing, and creative activities almost impossible. Additionally, as the disease progresses, it can interfere with your balance, mobility, and ability to swallow.

In advanced stages, Alzheimer’s disease results in significant shrinking of your brain and eventual brain failure.

Alzheimer’s disease risk factors

Medical researchers haven’t yet identified the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. We do know that your genetic background and family medical history help predict your chances of developing the disease.

Additionally, your lifestyle and the environment you live in play a role in your brain health.

Common risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease include:

Your risk of Alzheimer’s disease may be higher if you have unmanaged underlying health issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or Type 2 diabetes.

Lowering your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Making healthy lifestyle choices now sets you up for better health as you age, including lowering your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating plenty of fresh produce and naturally low-fat foods are simple changes you can make now for a healthier future overall. You should also keep alcohol consumption to a minimum and avoid tobacco products.

In addition to taking care of your body, it’s important that you also exercise your brain. Board games, reading, crossword puzzles, and socializing with friends and family help keep your brain engaged and healthy.

Our team is also available to help you manage other underlying health issues. We offer personalized chronic care services, using medications and other therapies to enhance your health and lower your chances of developing complications or other diseases. 

Managing Alzheimer’s disease

Many people don’t recognize the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease themselves. Instead, a loved one notices changes and suggests medical assessment. Early diagnosis is essential to slowing the disease progression.

If you have any concerning symptoms, such as memory problems or cognitive dysfunction, make an appointment with us for evaluation as soon as possible. We offer cognitive screening and can provide referrals for specialist testing if necessary. 

We can collaborate with your neurologist to ensure you get the care you need to manage your disease, including medication and lifestyle modifications. 

If you’re concerned about Alzheimer’s disease or want professional advice and support to try to lower your risk, call any of our offices in Weston, Pembroke Pines, and Davie, Florida. You can also schedule an appointment online.

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