While science has yet to definitively determine what causes Alzheimer’s disease or the best practices for Alzheimer’s disease prevention, new research suggests that the causes may be traced all the way down to the liver. How you manage your liver’s health now may have an impact on your own Alzheimer’s disease prevention. Here is how to do it.
Alcoholism and Dementia Don’t Mesh – Alcohol Abuse
When someone with a history of alcohol abuse develops Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, it can be a very difficult situation for their families to deal with on a daily basis.
Alcoholism combined with dementia causes a more rapid decline in skills needed to function independently, worsens behavioral problems, and raises safety concerns for both the person with dementia and those caring for them, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
An additional dangerous combination is the combination of alcohol and medication.
Someone who consumes alcoholic beverages is at greater risk for serious drug interactions, which can result in falls, increased confusion, internal bleeding, heart problems, and other complications.
When someone has dementia, managing their alcoholism becomes even more difficult because they frequently lose track of how much they have consumed, will resist attempts to reduce their consumption, and will neglect their nutrition, water intake, and hygiene habits.
As a matter of fact, excessive alcohol consumption has most likely been a problem for a long time and will most likely be difficult to change either completely or quickly in the future.
We’ve compiled a list of six tips for dealing with dementia and alcohol abuse that will help you reduce challenging symptoms and behaviors while also keeping the situation safe.
New Alzheimer’s Disease Research Discoveries
Researchers led by Dr. Mitchel A. Kling, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, presented research at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference that showed the risk for Alzheimer’s disease is associated with lower levels of plasmalogens, a type of phospholipid produced in the liver that aids in the health of brain cells. Plasmalogens are transported through the blood from the liver to the brain.
Dr. Kling developed methods to measure these phospholipids in collaboration with colleagues from Duke University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Metabolomics Consortium and discovered that as the body ages, the liver produces fewer plasmalogens. Further research revealed that lower plasmalogen levels were associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and/or cognitive impairment. The researchers also discovered a link between decreased production of certain plasmalogens and increased levels of the tau protein, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
What Does All of This Mean for You? Get Back to Great Ways of Living
This makes liver health and maintenance a critical component of Alzheimer’s disease prevention, and alcohol consumption plays a role in this. Heavy drinking, according to research, is a risk factor for liver disease such as cirrhosis and other cancers. According to newer research, even moderate alcohol consumption can have a negative impact on liver function. This is especially true for an aging liver, which cannot metabolize alcohol as quickly as it used to. As a result, it remains in your system for a longer period. Even one drink per day has an impact on your liver, which in turn has an impact on Alzheimer’s disease prevention.
Reduced Alcohol Consumption for Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention – Dementia Care Tips & Support
Here are five suggestions for reducing alcohol consumption and improving Alzheimer’s disease prevention.
- Do not drink in front of the television. When you are not paying attention, you are more likely to consume.
- Drinks with less alcohol content should be substituted. Rather than mixing a gin and tonic, try a nice, mild wheat beer.
- Quality trumps quantity. Treat your drink as if it were dessert. Choose reputable purveyors of high-quality, well-crafted beverages. And keep it to one.
- Drink plenty of water. Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes dehydration. While drinking alcohol, make sure to drink plenty of water.
- Take some time off. You will appreciate the nights when you do indulge all the more. And you will feel better for it. Your liver will be grateful.
There are, of course, other ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Maintaining a strong, healthy liver by limiting alcohol consumption is a good place to start.