Alzheimer's, Health Holiday

Three Facts You Should Know About Alzheimer’s

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and is expected to cost the healthcare system $220 billion. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are ways to slow the onset of the disease.

For November National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, we asked former ARC Family Medicine physician, Dr. Dewayne Nash, what people should know.

Dr. Nash was diagnosed with possible early onset of Alzheimer’s five years ago. He has since retired from practicing medicine and is now a volunteer with the Capital of Texas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. He documents his experience in his personal blog (organicgreendoctor.com)

Three Facts You Should Know About Alzheimer’s

  • The disease is often diagnosed late. Alzheimer’s is often diagnosed 8-10 years after onset of the disease. This means that for most, symptoms go untreated for several years during which time the lesions spread through the brain and cause irreparable damage. Earlier diagnosis can optimize the effects of currently available treatments.
  • Eating a heart healthy or Mediterranean diet can slow down the disease. The rule is simple, the health of your brain is closely tied to the health of your body especially your heart.
  • Managing risk factors can delay onset. The good news is that the same activities that can help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s are the same factors that contribute to your overall health: Don’t gain a lot of weight. Manage your blood pressure and diabetes. Don’t drink too much. Don’t smoke at all. Get enough Sleep. Exercise. Manage your stress.

Dr. Nash says there is hope ahead for Alzheimer’s. Several promising studies are ongoing that, if proven, will be a game changer for the treatment and/or management of the disease.

For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s section of the ARC Patient Library

Tags: Dr. Dewayne Nash, Alzheimer’s