100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss

100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss

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by Jean Carper
     
 

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Most people think there is little or nothing you can do to avoid Alzheimer's. But scientists know this is no longer true. In fact, prominent researchers now say that our best and perhaps only hope of defeating Alzheimer's is to prevent it.

After best-selling author Jean Carper discovered that she had the major susceptibility gene for Alzheimer's, she was

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Overview

Most people think there is little or nothing you can do to avoid Alzheimer's. But scientists know this is no longer true. In fact, prominent researchers now say that our best and perhaps only hope of defeating Alzheimer's is to prevent it.

After best-selling author Jean Carper discovered that she had the major susceptibility gene for Alzheimer's, she was determined to find all the latest scientific evidence on how to escape it. She discovered 100 surprisingly simple scientifically tested ways to radically cut the odds of Alzheimer's, memory decline, and other forms of dementia.

Did you know that vitamin B 12 helps keep your brain from shrinking? Apple juice mimics a common Alzheimer's drug? Surfing the internet strengthens aging brain cells? Ordinary infections and a popular anesthesia may trigger dementia? Meditating spurs the growth of new neurons? Exercise is like Miracle-Gro for your brain?

Even a few preventive actions could dramatically change your future by postponing Alzheimer's so long that you eventually outlive it. If you can delay the onset of Alzheimer's for five years, you cut your odds of having it by half. Postpone Alzheimer's for ten years, and you'll most likely never live to see it. 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's will change the way you look at Alzheimer's and provide exciting new answers from the frontiers of brain research to help keep you and your family free of this heartbreaking disease.

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Editorial Reviews

Carol Bradley Bursack
"Exceptionally good...Buy this book and keep it handy. Even if you only follow a few tips, your body will thank you."
Mark Liponis
"It's about time someone has compiled such an important manual of steps we can and should all take to avoid Alzheimer's. Jean has done a skillful job at delivering accessible tips that are backed in science and still very actionable for those of us interested in preserving our intellect and memory."
Gary W. Arendash
"In this marvelous book, Jean Carper has done all the leg-work for the reader by basing it on the very recent scientific literature and direct contacts with many Alzheimer's disease researchers. She has a unique and refreshing writing style. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to maintain their cognitive abilities during aging and reduce their risk of Alzheimer's-which should be all of us!"
Norman E. Rosenthal
"With style and wit Jean Carper has assembled all the simple things that people can do to delay the onset of age-related memory loss, an idea that may sound revolutionary to some, but is all research-based. My advice is simple: Read this book!"
William Sears
"In her usual science-made-simple approach, Jean Carper gives readers of all ages 100 doable strategies for keeping brains sharp and bodies healthy. I highly recommend reading it--and doing it."
Brian J. Balin
"A wonderful book that appeals to the lay person, physician and scientist alike, with its beautifully outlined 'what to do' approaches to dealing with the threat of such a frightening disease. It is a must read for all of us."
Gary L. Wenk
"There is a gem of knowledge and insight on every page. Jean Carper brings a rare talent to these pages-she helps the reader see the difference between scientific breakthroughs and passing fads. Most important, this book offers hope-something the reader can do right now to change their future. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to protect their minds as they grow old."
Suzanne Tyas
"A refreshingly positive view of Alzheimer's disease and what you can do to reduce your risk."
Publishers Weekly
If trying something new can delay or offset the effects of Alzheimer's, as former CNN medical correspondent and syndicated "EatSmart" columnist Carper (The Food Pharmacy) contends, then readers would do well to try many of the ideas she offers in this empowering compendium. Genetically disposed to Alzheimer's, Carper, now in her 70s, has compressed the latest research on this and other types of dementia into short sections, each with a bottom-line action plan. While some are basic to all-around good health (e.g., taking a multivitamin, not smoking, limiting alcohol), others might surprise: consuming apple juice and vinegar, meditating, and surfing the Internet. Although Carper admits she has not tried all of them, she recommends that readers experiment with those best suited to their situations. Even a few nutritional (a Mediterranean diet) and lifestyle (exercise, stress relief, sleep) changes, she states, can gain as much as a decade disease-free, and by supplementing with anti-Alzheimer's powerhouses like niacin, choline, folic acid, and alpha lipoic acid, readers can push mental decline even further into the future. Whether in their 20s or well into retirement, readers will likely feel motivated to do the impossible: beat the approaching epidemic of a disease commonly viewed as hopeless. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"Whether in their 20s or well into retirement, readers will likely feel motivated to do the impossible: beat the approaching epidemic of a disease commonly viewed as hopeless."—Publishers Weekly"

It's about time someone has compiled such an important manual of steps we can and should all take to avoid Alzheimer's. Jean has done a skillful job at delivering accessible tips that are backed in science and still very actionable for those of us interested in preserving our intellect and memory."—Mark Liponis, MD, coauthor of Ultraprevention and author of Ultralongevity"

In her usual science-made-simple approach, Jean Carper gives readers of all ages 100 doable strategies for keeping brains sharp and bodies healthy. I highly recommend reading it-and doing it."—William Sears, MD, author of Prime-Time Health"

A wonderful book that appeals to the lay person, physician and scientist alike, with its beautifully outlined 'what to do' approaches to dealing with the threat of such a frightening disease. It is a must read for all of us."—Brian J. Balin, Ph.D., Professor, Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine"

In this marvelous book, Jean Carper has done all the leg-work for the reader by basing it on the very recent scientific literature and direct contacts with many Alzheimer's disease researchers. She has a unique and refreshing writing style. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to maintain their cognitive abilities during aging and reduce their risk of Alzheimer's-which should be all of us!"—Gary W. Arendash, Ph.D., Research Professor of the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center"

With style and wit Jean Carper has assembled all the simple things that people can do to delay the onset of age-related memory loss, an idea that may sound revolutionary to some, but is all research-based. My advice is simple: Read this book!"—Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown Medical School"

There is a gem of knowledge and insight on every page. Jean Carper brings a rare talent to these pages-she helps the reader see the difference between scientific breakthroughs and passing fads. Most important, this book offers hope-something the reader can do right now to change their future. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to protect their minds as they grow old."—Gary L. Wenk, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Ohio State University, author of Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings "

A refreshingly positive view of Alzheimer's disease and what you can do to reduce your risk."—Suzanne Tyas, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Studies and Gerontology and of Psychology, University of Waterloo

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316086844
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
01/06/2012
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
110,229
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss


By Carper, Jean

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2010 Carper, Jean
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316086851

1

GET SMART ABOUT ALCOHOL

It can boost brain cells or destroy them

Your brain may like a little alcohol, but not a lot. Study after study shows that moderate drinkers are less apt to develop Alzheimer’s. Recent research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center found that older people who drank eight to fourteen alcoholic beverages per week—one or two a day—had a 37 percent lower risk of dementia than nondrinkers. The bad news: stepping into the “heavy drinker” category—more than fourteen drinks a week—doubled the odds of developing dementia compared to not drinking.

UCLA researchers find that heavy drinking pushes you two to three years closer to Alzheimer’s. And heavy drinkers who also carry the ApoE4 Alzheimer’s gene can expect the onset of dementia four to six years earlier. Further, in the large Framingham Heart Study, a community health study spanning several decades, heavy drinking (more than fourteen drinks a week) predicted shrinkage in the memory regions of the brain.

British doctors writing in the British Journal of Psychiatry recently warned that heavy and binge drinking among older people is creating “a silent epidemic” of alcohol-related dementia that causes as much as 10 percent of all cases of dementia.

Even adults who usually drink lightly or moderately but go on occasional binges face a higher risk of dementia. A Finnish study showed that adults who binged in midlife at least once a month—drinking, for example, more than five bottles of beer or a bottle of wine at one sitting—were three times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s, twenty-five years later. Passing out from alcohol at least twice in one year hiked the chances of developing dementia by ten times.

On the other hand, a daily cocktail or glass of wine may help delay dementia. Research finds that alcohol is an anti-inflammatory (inflammation promotes Alzheimer’s) and raises good HDL cholesterol, which helps ward off dementia. High antioxidants in red wine give it additional anti-dementia clout. Such antioxidants, including resveratrol, act as anticoagulants and artery relaxants, dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow, which encourages cognitive functioning. That makes many researchers favor red wine over white wine, which has comparatively few antioxidants. (See “Make It Wine, Preferably Red,” page 282.)

What to do? Understand that alcohol in low doses over an adult’s lifetime appears brain protective, but large doses at one time kill or cripple brain cells, leaving you more vulnerable to cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s decades later. The toxic impact is long lasting. If you do drink, stick to low or moderate amounts, sipped slowly, preferably with food. That means no more than one drink a day for women, two for men. One drink usually means a twelve-ounce beer, a shot of liquor, or five ounces of wine.



Continues...

Excerpted from 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss by Carper, Jean Copyright © 2010 by Carper, Jean. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Jean Carper is an award-winning medical journalist and the author of 23 books, including the New York Times bestsellers Food-Your Miracle Medicine, Stop Aging Now!, and Miracle Cures. She is a contributing editor to USA Weekend Magazine, and wrote the magazine's "Eat Smart" column for 14 years. She lives in Washington, D.C., and Florida.

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