Harvard Researchers Say This is the Real Cause of Alzheimer’s – And It’s Preventable
The Mitochondria Connection
The scientists at Harvard focused on how the behavior of the brain’s mitochondria – the organelles in neurons that provide the cells with energy – are linked to the development of Alzheimer’s.
In so doing, they departed from the prevailing idea about Alzheimer’s – the belief that it results when a buildup of a harmful protein called amyloid beta destroys neurons. The Harvard researchers note that the amyloid beta theory hasn’t produced any benefits for dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.
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1. Challenge your brain. Just as lifting weights strengthens your muscles, keeping your mind fit and active sparks new brain cells and neural connections. Activities that help include: Learning a new language … Playing a musical instrument … Reading … Writing in your journal … Doing brain games and crossword puzzles.
2. Break a sweat Exercise pumps blood to the brain and encourages the growth of new brain cells. But you don’t need to become a gym rat. New research indicates that simply walking can prevent brain shrinkage and memory loss. People who walked the most, cut their risk of developing memory loss in half.
3. Cultivate friends Social interactions activate the areas of the brain involved in memory and attention. One study showed that regular social interaction helps prevent dementia.
4. Manage your stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone, damages your brain and leads to memory problems. Best antidotes? Learn to meditate, practice yoga, or simply relax more often.
5. Get plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation reduces the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus and causes problems with memory, concentration, and decision-making. It can even lead to depression — another memory killer.
6. Eat smart. The best brain foods include brightly colored fruits and vegetables — especially berries … Omega-3 fish and seafood … raw nuts and seeds … and even dark chocolate. Avoid sugar and sweets, fried foods, and fast food … refined carbohydrates (including baked goods, cereals, chips and snacks). Be moderate with alcohol consumption.
7. Brain nutrients. Your muscles can’t stay strong without proper nutrition. Likewise, your brain needs a regular supply of certain vitamins, minerals, and “brain nutrients” to maintain its peak fitness … to repair damaged neurons … and to trigger the growth of new ones.