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Age 67 - My plan to avoid Alzheimer's
Old 01-15-2019, 08:45 PM   #1
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Age 67 - My plan to avoid Alzheimer's

Retirement has many challenges.

I recently took a DNA test by "23 and me" and my DNA indicates I have the Apoe4 gene which put me at a higher risk of late onset Alzheimer's disease.

My increased risk at age 85 is about "1 in 2" versus "1 in 8" without this gene. However, the above risk numbers does not account for better diet and exercise. This "may" explain why 1 in 2 did NOT develop Alzheimer at age 85 even though they had the same Apoe4 gene.

To lower my risk, I decided to do the following:

DIET: Follow the MIND diet which minimize eating red meat, processed meat, white bread, sweets. I have increased my consumption of fish and chicken and plant food such as leafy luttuce, olive oil, etc. I still eat occasionally at an expensive steak house while following the MIND diet but I will never eat at McDonald's or other fast food because I have a cap of how much red meat I can eat. Since quantity of red meat is out, quality is in.

EXERCISE: I now go to the gym every morning to workout about 1 hour and follow the American Heart Association's recommendation for exercising. I discovered that doing exercises that helps your heart also helps your brain.

LEARNING: I decided to learn another language. I need to stimulate and challenge my brain. I am age 67 and I decided that my brain will NOT retire.

SOCIAL LIFE: I have become more friendly simply because I realize that making new friends will help energize and exercise my brain. I now do unpaid volunteer work and I reach out to more people.

MEDIATION: I do mediation to allow my brain to rest during the day. I discovered mediation lowers my heart rate and I feel better mentally after mediation I also make sure I get enough sleep. Mediation during the day and good sleep at night helps me "defrag" my brain.

I am lucky that I do not need any prescription medication at age 67. I had followed a healthy life style when I was young. I was in the US Army for 7 years which emphasized physical training. When I became a civilian, I used to commute by bicycle 4 hours a day for about 5 years. My co-workers thought I was crazy because my house was 20 miles away from work.

When my DNA indicated that I have a higher risk of Alzheimer's, I was determined to accept this as simply another challenge to my life.

My quality of life has improved and money has become less important to me. I am actually glad to discover that I have the APO4 gene because I avoided becoming complacent in my retirement.

What you do during your retirement is really up to you.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:09 PM   #2
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Very interesting.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:13 PM   #3
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Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:51 PM   #4
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Good luck.
Exactly.
My mother exercised her brain until she was 90 and the rot set in. She croaked at 95.5 as a vegetable.
Father did about the same and his mind was sharp until he croaked at 95.5.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:52 PM   #5
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None of those things have anything to do with Alzheimer's anyway.

You're engaging in hand-wringing. If "Stress kills" the best thing you can do is stop stressing over it. Your list sounds like an episode of Dr Oz.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:00 PM   #6
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Exactly.
My mother exercised her brain until she was 90 and the rot set in. She croaked at 95.5 as a vegetable.
Father did about the same and his mind was sharp until he croaked at 95.5.
My FIL was a high powered executive. It hit him at 85. My dad was a blue collar Joe. It hit him at 90. My FIL’s brother still teaches at MIT at 92. Crap shoot.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:02 PM   #7
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I sometimes feel like I'm developing Alzheimer's and it really bothers me..

Then I forget about it for a while
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:02 PM   #8
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Do the things on your list because they are a good life to live, but unfortunately, you will still end up dying of something. Sorry. And I’m not making fun or being silly. I personally struggle with my mortality, so I get it, but if living better helps you deal with it, that’s a whole lot better than some sort of destructive behavior like substance abuse.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:48 AM   #9
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vchan,


The reality of vaccine is getting closer and closer. Some say in the next 10 years we will have it.


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323734.php


Great plan to prevent it or delay it, with many other positive aspects to your life.


Cheers!
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:48 AM   #10
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I recommend Japanese Green Tea to add to your diet. I drink 5 - 6 cups a day.

I also picked up game of go to sharpen my mind. I learned using computer SW & internet.

Just moved my mom to assisted living due to her oncoming dementia. So, it's of concern to me, too.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:34 AM   #11
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None of those things have anything to do with Alzheimer's anyway.

You're engaging in hand-wringing. If "Stress kills" the best thing you can do is stop stressing over it. Your list sounds like an episode of Dr Oz.
Lots of studies out there saying that exercise might prevent Alzheimer's etc. What's good for the heart is good for the brain etc. Silly to dismiss OPs efforts.

This is the most cited on Google.


https://synapse.koreamed.org/search....JCN&vmode=FULL


"It has been repeatedly reported during the past 10 years that physical exercise (PE) constitutes an effective intervention in neurodegenerative diseases, attenuating or limiting their progression.9,*10,*11Acute PE increases cardiac output, leading to increased cerebral blood flow, which triggers various neurobiological mechanisms in the brain tissues. The regular (repeated) increases in cerebral blood flow associated with regular PE probably contribute to increases in angiogenesis, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, and neurotransmitter synthesis in the different cerebral areas involved in cognition (e.g., memorization) and mobility.11,*12*Experimental data support the theory that PE is likely to maintain and even improve cognitive and motor functions in healthy subjects.13*It is also suggested that overall physical activity (PA) can protect against the onset of AD and PD,14,*15,*16,*17*and that PE can slow down the progression of these pathologies.18,*19"
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:00 AM   #12
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I think you mean meditation, unless somehow resolving conflicts between other people helps.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:26 AM   #13
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Thanks for your post. The MIND diet looks pretty good. However, it includes whole grains. As you continue to do research, you may want to look at grains and see if you agree with their inclusion. I would substitute additional veggies instead. But, hey I eat low carb.

Regarding genes, the current evidence I have seen contradicts what most of us learned in school. We were taught that genes were an important factor determining our health (our genes were our destiny). Today, the current science indicates our environment/lifestyle alters gene expression (epigenetics). You might have a certain gene, but it operates more like a switch turned on or off by lifestyle. IOW, I suspect lifestyle is a greater factor than genes. So, your changes should help.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:22 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by bmcgonig View Post
Lots of studies out there saying that exercise might prevent Alzheimer's etc. What's good for the heart is good for the brain etc. Silly to dismiss OPs efforts.

+1, I agree. I also applaud the OPs efforts to stay healthy as he ages. While obsessing about what may or may not happen to you is probably not a good thing to do, getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will undoubtedly contribute to good health as you age, as many studies have shown. Many, if not most, of the chronic diseases affecting us these days have their roots in poor diet and sedentary behavior. Alzheimer's is being called "Type 3 diabetes" by some medical researchers now, as there is evidence that the same poor lifestyle habits that contribute to diabetes also increase one's risk of having Alzheimer's/dementia later in life.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:29 AM   #15
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Thanks for your post. The MIND diet looks pretty good. However, it includes whole grains. As you continue to do research, you may want to look at grains and see if you agree with their inclusion. I would substitute additional veggies instead. But, hey I eat low carb.

Regarding genes, the current evidence I have seen contradicts what most of us learned in school. We were taught that genes were an important factor determining our health (our genes were our destiny). Today, the current science indicates our environment/lifestyle alters gene expression (epigenetics). You might have a certain gene, but it operates more like a switch turned on or off by lifestyle. IOW, I suspect lifestyle is a greater factor than genes. So, your changes should help.

+1, you are absolutely correct about gene expression. There is no doubt in my mind that whether a gene you inherited is actually expressed can and is affected greatly by diet and lifestyle.
I also agree with you about grain consumption (even whole grains). Good idea to minimize grain consumption and emphasize veggie consumption. I also do not think that eating a moderate amount of red meat is going to cause any harm, as red meat is a very nutrient-dense food. Good idea to avoid some processed meats, though, and also to avoid excessive charring of meat meat when you grill it.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:39 AM   #16
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My FIL was a high powered executive. It hit him at 85. My dad was a blue collar Joe. It hit him at 90. My FILís brother still teaches at MIT at 92. Crap shoot.
Agree it is a crap shoot to some extent, but why not do all these thibgs anyway, as it can't hurt and could help prevent or lessen the chance of other diseases.

Plus it gives the OP a daily guideline to follow, in that if it happens, the OP will feel he has done everything he could do.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:44 AM   #17
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You're engaging in hand-wringing. If "Stress kills" the best thing you can do is stop stressing over it. Your list sounds like an episode of Dr Oz.
Did we read the same OP? I saw no hand-wringing.

What I read is a reasonable approach for an overall healthy-lifestyle for most anyone, but tailored to someone a bit older. They are things pretty much anyone can benefit from and zero doctors would discourage.

I doubt the OP thinks his approach is any guarantee, but maybe to tip the scales just a teeny bit, while being healthier all over no matter what the outcome, to better enjoy life.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:44 AM   #18
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Hey it can't hurt. lol not to seem skeptical but my late hubby did all of the above and kicked the bucket at age 53 so who knows?

My goal is to do as much as I can to keep my health but will not sacrifice today's happiness for that hope of never getting sick.

Next is I'm not stressing about whether or not I get _________. While I like to eat a healthy diet, I'm not going to pass up the occasional rib eye steak cook just right.

LOL, I would like to think I make friends not to ward off a disease but because the world is a happier better place with friends. same with volunteering, I'm a practicing Christian so I'd like to think I help out not to ward off a disease but again because it would make the world that much nicer.

Good for you op, at least you are thinking about it, so many folks of every age don't think about their health until it's too late.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:12 AM   #19
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I think its good to try to grab some extra time or extra healthy time, but realize the results are limited. Of the entire world population of 1.9 billion in 1900, none are alive today. That includes those that had perfect body nutrition, optimal exercise, superior genes, great socialization and probably some that had all of the optimized attributes. Good luck with what you can do though.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcgonig View Post
Lots of studies out there saying that exercise might prevent Alzheimer's etc. What's good for the heart is good for the brain etc. Silly to dismiss OPs efforts.

This is the most cited on Google.


https://synapse.koreamed.org/search....JCN&vmode=FULL


"It has been repeatedly reported during the past 10 years that physical exercise (PE) constitutes an effective intervention in neurodegenerative diseases, attenuating or limiting their progression.9,*10,*11Acute PE increases cardiac output, leading to increased cerebral blood flow, which triggers various neurobiological mechanisms in the brain tissues. The regular (repeated) increases in cerebral blood flow associated with regular PE probably contribute to increases in angiogenesis, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, and neurotransmitter synthesis in the different cerebral areas involved in cognition (e.g., memorization) and mobility.11,*12*Experimental data support the theory that PE is likely to maintain and even improve cognitive and motor functions in healthy subjects.13*It is also suggested that overall physical activity (PA) can protect against the onset of AD and PD,14,*15,*16,*17*and that PE can slow down the progression of these pathologies.18,*19"
+1

A friend's mother had early onset Alzheimer's. She was diagnosed at then a new memory unit at KU med center. The friend asked if there was anything she might do to help prevent it. Exercise was the number one thing.
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