In seeking hope for sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have touched on an interesting find: That walking may provide a benefit not only for sufferers of Alzheimer’s, but also for those at risk. One thing thus far is certain: That walking seems to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s just one more indication that exercise and healthy living can keep people in the advanced stages of their lives, when they might be disinclined to exercise, interested in staying healthy.
Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients
Clues to Alzheimer’s causes and a possible effective treatment have trickled out from year to year, each providing a bit more insight into the disease who’s cause is as yet still a mystery to medical science. While much IS known about Alzheimer’s disease, there is still much that remains uncovered. While walking is no certain cure for the disease that affects as many as 5.3 million Americans as of 2010, according to a study conducted by the Texas Alzheimer’s research association, it is one of many things now being uncovered which can stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, and may help to decrease the rate of mortality, which is expected to explode in 2030, when all baby boomers will be at least 65 years old.
Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging
While instances of Alzheimer’s disease are prevalent in society, it is important to recognize that Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of the aging process. It is, in fact, a degenerative disease. According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s disease can begin to take hold of a patient as much as ten to twenty years before any actual symptoms surface. The dementia which is a result of the degenerative nature of Alzheimer’s disease also, is not the disease itself, but a result of the nerve centers of the brain degenerating to the point to which they no longer function as they are supposed to.
Alzheimer’s is not a disease, however, which is strictly a disease for the aged. The youngest person ever diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease was just 27 years old, and cases of Alzheimer’s disease among people between the ages of 40-65 are increasing. An interesting tidbit, courtesy of the Area Institute on Aging is that the course of Alzheimer’s disease can run for anywhere between two and twenty five years, with the average being between four and eight years.
Can walking help current Alzheimer’s patients?
A question which will surely be asked is whether or not walking, or exercise in general will actually be able to help current Alzheimer’s patients. While this is unlikely in patients who are in the advanced stages of the disease, given that the disease has already gained a foothold, there is much evidence that Alzheimers patients can still benefit greatly from the exercise that walking provides, though they may need help. Walking, particularly in people who greatly enjoyed walking or exercising before the onset of Alzheimer’s, can provide a means of relieving boredom, releasing excess energy, and all the other benefits that non-Alzheimer’s patients enjoy from exercise.
The connection between exercise and healthy living is too obvious to ignore, and not only in Alzheimer’s patients. walking and mild exercise, as one might expect, are hugely beneficial when it comes to fending off disease and leading people to longer, healthier lives. More often than not, simply a walk around the block every night after dinner can provide the exercise your body needs to help hold off the effects of not only Alzheimer’s, but Cancer as well. Staying healthy and living happily are now, and always will be, the best drug you can take for any disease.