Lifestyle Interventions for the Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Decline: What is the Healthcare Provider's Role?
Methods: A literature search was conducted of peer-reviewed and indexed data bases, giving preference to more recent articles and those with higher levels of statistical validation and reproducibility. Key words and phrases were utilized as follows: lifestyle, cognitive function, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), memory, diet, exercise, meditation, and sleep.
Results: AD is a rapidly expanding healthcare and economic problem. The evidence has shown that improved mental function can be obtained by specific dietary programs, increased exercise, and by stimulating mental processing. Additionally, activities such as relaxation, sleep, and social interactions have been shown to improve mental functioning. Further, research supports the concept of using these activities to delay the onset of degenerative brain diseases in many cases. These activities are generally within the scope of practice of most HCPs.
Conclusion: Research has demonstrated positive effects of multiple lifestyle changes on either delaying onset of cognitive function disorders or diminishing their effects. The studies on human subjects still require more depth and specificity, but they are promising. HCPs could provide important educational and preventive measures for most patients. This could extend lives, as well as improve quality of life for both patients and caregivers, and save a great deal of money for our society.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Define the nature and scope of Alzheimer's disease as a public health concern. Discuss several lifestyle interventions as preventive measures for maintaining brain health. Design a natural strategy for a patient to delay the onset of degenerative brain disease.
Keyword(s): Health Promotion and Education, Preventive Medicine
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I've published and presented concerning Alzheimer's disease previously, I have an diplomate and masters degree in clinical nutrition and a certification in Wellness by NWI. I am a professor at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, and I've practiced for 39 years as a chiropractic physician.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.