According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5.6 million seniors over the age of 65 in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease. The condition affects the health of the brain and is degenerative. Though researchers are still learning more about the disease, several causes of Alzheimer’s have been identified.
1. Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are common among young and old alike. Sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, and slips and falls can all result in the head being injured. A 2018 study published in EBioMedicine found people who had experienced traumatic brain injuries were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Researchers believe this is because when a brain injury occurs, the body sends blood to the injured location, which causes brain tissue to swell. Over time, this inflammation may lead to permanent changes in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Rocklin in-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
Family history and genetics are the greatest predictors of a person’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have narrowed down the condition to a single gene known as the APOE gene. This gene provides a blueprint for the body to make a protein that’s responsible for transporting cholesterol in the bloodstream. There are three different forms of the gene, and having the e4 form of the gene increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle
Though seniors can’t change their genetics, they can make better lifestyle choices to decrease their risk of Alzheimer’s. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found seniors who exercised several times a week were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who didn’t. Researchers believe the extra blood flow pumped to the brain during physical exercise may protect it.
Aging adults who need help managing mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of highly trained professional caregivers. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care services. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
4. Lack of Sleep
Being busy with work and children in the younger years and having sleeping difficulties in the senior years means many people don’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night. During deep sleep, the body enters a stage known as the REM cycle. While in this cycle, the body repairs itself, removes toxins, and flushes unnecessary proteins out of the brain. When a senior doesn’t get enough sleep, he or she doesn’t spend enough time in the REM cycle, and excess proteins remain in the brain. Over time, these proteins can cause plaques to form that lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Cardiovascular Disease
Though the brain takes up only two percent of total body mass, it uses 20 percent of the body’s blood, oxygen, and energy supplies. When a senior has cardiovascular disease, the heart isn’t able to pump blood and oxygen to the body sufficiently, which may mean the brain isn’t getting a sufficient supply. A lack of oxygen and energy may cause Alzheimer’s to form. Other cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity, may also harm the brain and affect proper function and overall health.
If you’re the primary caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you don’t have to go through it alone. Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Rocklin Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If your loved one needs professional Alzheimer’s care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our Care Managers today at 916.226.3737.