Keep your mind active to prevent Alzheimers disease, say doctors – The Hindu

Chess Study

Alzheimers is one of the most common cause of death in advanced countries. In India, it is the eighth common cause of death. It causes memory loss, errors in judgment and facial disorientation. The disease generally starts when a person is in his/her 60s and the risk increases with age.

A memory clinic run by the Neurology Department of Andhra Medical College(AMC)/King George Hospital(KGH) on Saturdays gets three to four cases a week. The pandemic situation poses a greater threat to senior citizens and taking them out, particularly to hospitals, is avoided. The clinic has not been getting any patient.

Keeping the mind active in old age is very important. Post-retirement from service, if a person remains inactive or doesnt use his/her brain active for long, the risk of Alzheimers increases. Playing board games like chess, walking, jogging and physical exercises apart from consuming high-protein diet will go a long way in keeping the disease at bay, says G. Butchi Raju, Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology, Andhra Medical College/King George Hospital.

One should choose new activities, instead of continuing his old profession or work, like learning a new language and developing multi-lingual skills. Each language stimulates some part of the brain. Indian studies have revealed that post-65, the risk of Alzheimers doubles after every five years, Dr. Butchi Raju told The Hindu on the eve of World Alzheimer's Day.

The lifespan in India is now around 60 years and in the next 25 years, Alzheimers is estimated to become a serious problem. The disintegration of joint families and proliferation of nuclear families will only aggravate the problem as there would be no one to look after the senior citizens. Those above 70 will have a risk of 10 to 15% and those above 80 will have 20 to 25% risk, he says.

A new study done in the United States has revealed that there is a direct relation between diet and the instance of Alzheimers in the population. It is also stated that eating healthy and low calorie food could help fight the fungi in the gut and reduces the risk of dementia among senior citizens, says Mohan V. Sumedha Maturu, consultant neurologist, Medicover Hospitals, Vizag.

Alzheimers disease is an irreversible progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, ability to carry simple tasks and thinking skills. Brain imaging after clinical suspicion helps in confirming diagnosis. There are various biomarkers for diagnosing Alzheimers at an early stage, says Ch. Vijay, Consultant neurosurgeon, KIMS ICON, Vizag.

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Keep your mind active to prevent Alzheimers disease, say doctors - The Hindu

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