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How to help prevent Alzheimer’s

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Studies have shown that reading and certain mental exercises can help fight against ALZ. Here's how text-to-speech can play a role.

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An estimated 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, age 65 or older. It is the most common form of dementia, but it is not a normal part of the aging process. According to experts, the number of people who live with Alzheimer’s doubles every five years for people who are over 65 years old. 


By 2050, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is expected to reach 13 million people.

Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia kill more adults each year than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined. In fact, 1 in 3 seniors die from Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Nearly two-thirds of adults in the U.S. who have Alzheimer’s are women.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, the most common type, accounting for as much as 80% of dementia cases. It impairs cognitive abilities and causes memory loss. It is a progressive disease with symptoms gradually worsening over several years.

The early stages of the disease begin with mild memory loss, but as it progresses, the individual loses the ability to engage in conversation, carry out simple life tasks, and respond to their environment. People who have late-stage Alzheimer’s may not even be able to take care of themselves.

Can early detection of Alzheimer’s help?

Identifying Alzheimer’s early can help to prevent or halt the disease’s progress. It begins with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) which can be an early marker. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans are not familiar with MCI (fewer than 1 in 5) and may miss some important signs of this possible early stage of Alzheimer’s. Approximately a third of people who are diagnosed with MCI due to Alzheimer’s will develop dementia within five years of that diagnosis.

How do you prevent Alzheimer’s?

There are several ways that you can prevent Alzheimer’s. For instance, cardiovascular disease has been linked to Alzheimer’s as well as vascular dementia. Because heart disease has been associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, taking steps to better heart health.

Eating a healthy diet of fresh, whole foods as well as getting regular exercise is a good start. Other healthy steps to take for better health and to help prevent Alzheimer’s include:

  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol intake
  • Monitor your blood pressure
  • See your doctor regularly

You may also reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by staying socially and mentally active. Some effective activities you should practice regularly:

  • Reading
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Participate in a group sport or activity
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Volunteer in your community
  • Try a new hobby or activity
  • Work crossword puzzles and logic problems
  • Work a jigsaw puzzle
  • Maintain an active social life

Reading is a powerful tool to combat Alzheimer’s

Reading is one of the best brain stimulating activities that you can do to prevent cognitive decline and related conditions like Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. It helps to keep your brain active and engaged while helping to prevent memory loss.

One study found that people who frequently engaged in mentally stimulating activity later in life had a 32% lower rate of mental decline than those whose mentally stimulating activity frequency was average. What’s more, people whose engagement in mentally stimulating activity was infrequent experienced a 48% faster decline in cognitive and mental abilities.

While reading is a great way to protect your brain, it can be a challenge for some people. Older adults may have mobility issues and have difficulty holding a book or reading device. They may have difficulty seeing to the extent that it impacts their reading effectiveness. This can be a problem and keep these people from enjoying a great book or getting lost in an enthralling story. It doesn’t have to be that way though.

Text-to-Speech for better brain health

Text-to-speech, or TTS, allows the reader to hear the words from the document or book that they want to read instead of having to read the content themselves. This allows them to read that story, enjoy it, and still get the cognitive stimulation benefits without having to struggle to handle a book or read.

Speechify has a TTS program that allows you to read better and faster, to retain more of what you read, and improve your memory. It lets you listen, read, and stimulate your brain whether you are just listening, or you are using the highlight feature and reading along. You can also choose your reading speed.

This helps you retain and comprehend more of what you read while giving your brain a healthy workout. The program is flexible and easy to use so that you can read those great books – but you can also read email, text messages, important documents, and more. If your vision is compromised, Speechify gives you the independence you want and empowers you to read what you want, when you want, and how you want.

If you want to tap into the power and health benefits of reading, give Speechify a try. Visit our site to learn more and sign up for our free trial so you can see how it works for you. Then you can read to your heart’s content.

FAQ

Is reading good for preventing dementia?

A study published in July 2018 in JAMA Psychiatry found that reading daily may reduce the risk of dementia. The Elderly Health Centres at Hong Kong conducted the research and tracked more than 15,000 people, age 65 and older for five years. People who had a daily habit of reading were not as prone to Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.

Can reading help with memory loss?

Research has found that reading can not only help prevent memory loss, but it can also help you improve your memory. The act of reading is a cognitively stimulating activity, a “brain exercise.” This means that it stimulates the brain and that in turn induce the production of new neurons that improve brain function. Memory is one of those functions.

Other issues like stress and poor concentration can impact memory as well. Reading helps to reduce stress and improve concentration levels. Reading may also slow or inhibit cognitive decline in adults over 65.

How can you prevent Alzheimer’s naturally?

Diet and exercise are two of your best ways to prevent Alzheimer’s naturally. Alzheimer’s has been linked to cardiovascular disease. Studies show that people who have heart disease may have a higher risk of cognitive decline.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet with whole foods and limited or no processed foods, as well as regular, moderate exercise can not only prevent heart disease, but it may also prevent Alzheimer’s. It is also much better for your brain as well. 30 minutes three to four times a week is all you need to reap the benefits.

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