Watching a family member struggle with Alzheimer's Diseases is one of the hardest things to watch them go through. Along with taking care of them, it can be hard trying to cope with taking care of them and yourself.
June is Brain Health Awareness Month, a prime time to talk about Alzheimer's and Dementia. Nationally recognized menopause specialist Dr. Diana Bither talks about the signs and symptoms of these diseases, and how we can slow the process.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia and is associated with progressive memory loss caused by the destruction of brain cells. Medication can slow the process and improve function in the short term, but there is no cause. Only a small percentage of people affected by Alzheimer's disease is genetically determined, and people with a history of significant head injury or Down’s Syndrome have a much higher rate of the disease.
The risk factors which matter most are the same risk factors for heart disease such as blood sugar, blood cholesterol levels, and obesity.
According to current research, it is believed that risk can be lowered with a plant-based diet, exercise, and by maintaining a healthy weight after menopause (or andropause). Brain health is also affected by mental activities such as problem-solving and lifelong learning of new tasks.
For those already taking care of the person with this disease, Dr. Bitner recommends seeing a trained psychotherapist, joining a support or education group to be better informed about the disease and keep a healthy mind.
Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616)-267-8225.
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