Those with Alzheimer’s can manage their symptoms. It seems that for now, the best way to cure Alzheimer’s is to prevent it from forming, by following healthy living practices.
The Kensington Redondo Beach Memory Care Neighborhoods
Our community has an enhanced license, enabling us to provide a higher level of care than you’d find at the traditional assisted living community. This means we employ a large Earlier this year, The Kensington Senior Living partnered with the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM) and Hilarity for Charity (HFC) to host Brain it On!, an Alzheimer’s summit featuring Maria Shriver, and Lauren Miller Rogen.
This virtual summit brought together world-class experts on Alzheimer’ to talk about its challenges, Alzheimer’s risk factors, promising research that is taking place, and tips and advice for how to combat Alzheimer’s effects.
In case you missed it, these are the key takeaways from our Alzheimer’s summit.
Key Takeaways from our Brain it On! Experts
Eating for Brain Health
Dr. Ayesha Sherzai M.D., a neurologist and nutritionist, advocates for eating a healthy brain diet that prevents all forms of cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s. This includes:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Whole grains (oats, quinoa)
- Seeds (flax seeds, nuts)
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)
Dr. Jennifer Zientz, head of clinical services at the Brain Performance Institute, talked about neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to adapt) and neurogenesis (the brain’s ability to produce new cells).
She spoke about building a cognitive reserve of new experiences, and how it can actually protect the brain from cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sleep and exercise have the power to improve the brain’s neuroplasticity and to let it reset itself each day to improve the brain’s ability to adapt to change.
Peace of Mind
Dr. Dharma Khalsa, an expert in treating Alzheimer’s disease, spoke about spiritual fitness as a new concept in medicine. Spiritual fitness is an interweaving of meditation for stress and improved psychological well-being.
He also spoke about the importance of persistent practice when it comes to meditation to create a lasting change.
Interestingly, he mentioned that people who have a strong sense of purpose, such as caregivers, have a reduced chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
Women’s Brain Health
The effects of menopause have many consequences for a woman’s brain, making her more susceptible to developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
Women make up the majority of Alzheimer’s patients, with 67% of Alzheimer’s patients being women.
Estradiol production, an important form of estrogen in a woman’s body made from the ovaries, steeply declines after menopause, leaving women more susceptible to developing a brain disease.
Roberta Diaz Brinton, Ph.D. director of the UA Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, spoke about breakthroughs in hormone replacement therapy. While some estrogen replacement therapy can improve brain health, it can make women more likely to develop breast cancer. Now there is research to create new hormone replacement therapy that significantly reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.
Alzheimer’s Risk Factors
Alzheimer’s disease typically occurs later in life, with the mid-60s being the most common age when Alzheimer’s symptoms become noticeable. Younger people in their 40s can develop early-onset Alzheimer’s, although this is less common.
There appears to be a hereditary link between having a parent with Alzheimer’s, although this increase in risk is small for most people. However, certain genes are inherited for some families, which makes developing Alzheimer’s a much higher risk.
People who have experienced traumatic head or brain injuries are thought to be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
People who have untreated depression, hearing loss, experience loneliness or social isolation, and are sedentary have a higher likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s.
There is also a link between cardiovascular health and developing Alzheimer’s. Other Alzheimer’s risk factors include people who smoke, have diabetes, and are obese.
For these reasons, it’s important to practice healthy living, including exercising, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of social interaction to keep the brain healthy and help the body age well.
Current Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease
As of yet, there isn’t a simple drug or medical intervention that can cure Alzheimer’s disease or its symptoms successfully.
However, medical studies are testing the effects of anti-amyloid antibodies, drugs that can reduce amyloids in the brain, to test whether or not Alzheimer’s can be prevented before amyloid buildup causes Alzheimer’s to form.
There are also many kinds of prescription drugs available to people with mild, moderate, and severe forms of Alzheimer’s. Some of these drugs help prevent the brain from breaking down acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for brain health.
However, many of the current prescriptions available primarily help people with staff of registered nurses who work around the clock to administer healthcare, including injections for diabetes, and providing medications for our residents.
We also feature on-site rehabilitation services for our residents, making it easier to complete physical therapy to keep them mobile and healthy.
We also provide leading-class memory care programs that are divided into two dedicated on-site communities — Connections and Haven.
For residents who are experiencing early to moderate symptoms of memory loss caused by Alzheimer’s and dementia, we have our Connections neighborhood. Connections provides a fully-secured environment in a homelike, friendly setting that fosters calm and comfort for our residents.
For residents experiencing more advanced stages of memory loss, there is Haven. Our Haven community provides the highest level of care to our residents who need it most. Like Connections, Haven is a fully-secured environment with special design considerations, such as custom carpeting, memory boxes, and color-coding to help our residents navigate, reduce fall risk, and reduce confusion.
At The Kensington Redondo Beach, we extend Our Promise to you: to love and take care of your loved one as we would our own.
If you’re the son or daughter of a person living with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or memory loss, please contact us today to learn how we can provide a safe and secure option to take care of your loved one.