Help Prevent Neurodegenerative Diseases like Dementia & Parkinson’s
What is Neurodegenerative disease?
This means damage & death of the nerve cells in specific parts of the brain. Which parts of the brain are damaged determines what the neurodegenerative disease may be. If it affects the memory areas, then it may cause Alzheimers Dementia, if it affects the Dopamine areas deep in the brain, it may lead to Parkinson’s, a movement & mood disorder disease.
In simple terms to make it easy to understand, the process of neurodegeneration occurs in 4 steps:
• Build up of toxic proteins in the nerve cells
• Chronic nerve Inflammation (this is what most likely leads to cell damage)
• Nerve cell damage – different parts may get damaged, like the cell mitochondria – the power house of the cell
• Nerve cell death & resultant lost function…
Stay Aware – look for early signs.
Neurodegenerative disease often starts 20 or 30 years before you get severe symptoms. These diseases can not yet be cured, but can be prevented or managed well, if caught early. This doesn’t mean you have the condition, only that you should get a check from your doctor.
For example, early signs of Parkinson’s include:
• Acting out your dreams eg actual kicking & punching as you dream.
• Movement changes like uneven stance & stiffness to movement.
• Increasing anxiety, when you weren’t an anxious person & have no reason for anxiety.
There are some things that science indicates can help reduce your risk of getting neurodegenerative disease. They are not special; they just need awareness & action.
1 Long Term Quality Sleep which includes both REM & Deep Sleep.
More & more research is showing that Melatonin & sleep cycle is related to the cycle of light & dark. Get lots of bright light before 12 noon (especially early), and soft light in the afternoon & evening. When we get quality sleep, this is when the damaging toxins & proteins are moved out of the nerve cells & brain. Without good sleep, our waste removal system is not working properly, allowing toxic protein to build up.
2 Build your Cognitive Reserve
This means to do a variety of mentally challenging activities all our life. Keep learning. Keep motivated.
3 Build your Physical Reserve
This means to do enough to be healthy, and do a variety of physical movement & exercise all our life. Work to move in non stiff, more symmetrical ways (not too much difference between the sides.) Dance is considered an especially good power movement as it requires a lot of brain processing.
Movement is also a powerful way to reduce chronic inflammation.
The more Cognitive & Physical Reserve you start with, the more you can lose before you get symptoms.
Extra: be aware that some exposure to toxins (agricultural pesticides) can increase risk. Do your research whenever using any chemicals with toxin issues.
https://peterattiamd.com/kellyannniotis/ Dr Kellyann Niotis is a preventative Neurologist who managed the USA’s first Alzheimer Prevention Clinic.