Seriously. I know Zombies don’t exactly have the most discriminating of palates but I like to think at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse when there is a surplus of human brains for them to feast on they’re going to be a little choosy.
“Ug, dementia riddled brains again, mom? Can’t we have young fresh healthy brains?”
Unfortunately, after listening to a talk recently by Dr. Daniel Amen on keeping our brains young I’m thinking that choosy zombies are going to be shit out of luck at the end of days. Some of the facts Dr. Amen mentioned about Alzheimer’s were absolutely staggering (and terrifying) and I thought it was important to do a quick post on it (but not for the benefit of the zombies). We hear about people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s all the time but do we ever really stop to think about why it’s happening or what we can do about it?
Every 68 seconds an American develops Alzheimer’s Disease. By 2050, an American will develop the disease every 33 seconds. Yikes.
A couple of doozies Dr. Amen mentioned:
- The number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple by 2050
- At age 85, you have a 50% chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Brain deterioration starts 30 years before symptoms even start to show.
There’s still a bit of debate about what the specific causes of Alzheimer’s are but one can see drastic differences between a healthy brain vs. one with Alzheimer’s just by looking. If symptoms take 30 years to show up that means our brains start to develop the disease in our 30’s and 40’s and that means there might be time for some of us to change our fate.
We know that an Alzheimer’s brain is one that is deteriorating. It is essentially accelerated brain aging. So what makes your brain age? Lots of things but primarily anything that reduces blood flow to the brain: toxins & conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and depression. Also sedentary lifestyles, smoking and drug and alcohol use.
There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s and so far no proven method of preventing it. But we do know that people who develop certain conditions (like those named above) have an increased risk of the disease so at the moment your best defense is a lifestyle that prevents you from developing those diseases and change your lifestyle if you already have any of them!
Decrease your Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s
- Get 8 hours of sleep every night
- Eat a clean mediterranean based diet that includes omega 3 fatty acids
- Drastically limit added sugar in your diet
- Exercise regularly and move more in general
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Drink green tea in moderation
- Continue to learn new things as you age. Challenge yourself!
- Manage stress (yoga, meditation, massage, breathwork, time with friends etc)
If looking better, feeling better and living longer aren’t enough reasons for you to take better care of yourself, I hope reducing the risk of not remembering your grandchildren (or children, or husband etc) someday is.
If you take all these steps to reduce your risk, luckily for you, there is currently no way for the zombies to know ahead of time that you have young healthy brains. Green tea in hand and lacing up my sneakers now! There’s probably a lot of running in the apocalypse.
I really love this post and think it is so important to raise Alzheimer’s awareness and what we can do to prevent it. My mother died with early onset dementia and it is a terrible disease. I will be doing my best to live healthfully and keep my brain sharp for as long as possible! Grabbing a cup of green tea as well right now!
I’m so sorry about your mother. I’m hoping we see more people take action for their long term health as more research comes to light. It’s so important!