Women Are More Likely Than Men to Develop Alzheimer’s – Here’s How to Combat the Disease
Did you know that about 75% of patients diagnosed with brain disorders are women? And 1 in 5 are diagnosed before they’re even 65 years of age. It is estimated that by 2050, over 9 million women will be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
These alarming stats were quick to pull neuroscientist Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton out of her daze about three decades ago, especially after witnessing just how many women were developing Alzheimer’s disease. Before now, this likelihood was attributed to the longevity of women.
But, on average, women live four to five years more than men, which doesn’t explain much. Recent genetic studies have discovered a gene variant that signals Alzheimer’s, with men carrying the gene only slightly more likely to develop the disease as compared to men without the gene, while women carrying the gene were twice as likely to do so in comparison to their female counterparts.
Though the causes behind this issue are still uncertain, there are many ways in which women can protect their brains.
Here are a few:
1. You Are What You Eat
According to Dr. Mosconi, the science-backed diet best to boost your brain’s health is the Mediterranean Diet, which entails loading up on whole grains, fish, fruits, veggies, herbs, beans, and nuts. Through her research, she discovered 50-year-old women following the Mediterranean diet looked 5 years younger than those whose diets comprised Western dishes.
And, of course, how can we forget the importance of fiber? Since fibrous veggies are perfect for controlling your blood sugar, you can bet your brain will get the glucose it needs to function properly.
2. Ease the Mental Strain
As a woman, you’d be well aware of all the “mental gymnastics” you do on a daily basis and how exhausting it can be. Well, female researchers are now studying cognitive load and how it can impact your brain.
Who knew all the things on a mother/wife’s plate, like booking the next vacation, making doctor’s appointments, or even keeping up with everyone’s schedule, could later translate to cognitive issues? There’s nothing wrong with having responsibilities so long as you aren’t overwhelmed or overburdened by them.
3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Exercise is perhaps the strongest tool against not only Alzheimer’s but most diseases, especially if you’re a woman. Physical activity is known to cause a 30% decrease in risk for Alzheimer’s in women aged 65 and below and a 20% decrease in women aged 65 to 70. That doesn’t mean you need to run to the nearest gym right away. As long as you keep those muscles moving, be it through swimming, running, etc., you’re golden.
Wrapping It Up
It’s not easy being a woman – you know it, we know it, everyone knows it. But that’s not to say that you can’t put your resilience to good use and create a better tomorrow for yourself in terms of health and wellness.
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