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Expert links Alzheimer’s to meat consumption

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alzheimerBy Sarwat Ghulam Rasool

KARACHI: An expert has said that people who eat meat regularly have a greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s than those who eat vegetables.

“Alzheimer’s is basically a neuron degenerative disease, a most common cause of the dementia. Dementia is a word that is used for the progressive declining of brain function including memory lost. In Alzheimer’s, patients first lose their short-term memory and as the disease further develops, they start to lose their long-term memory as well,” said prominent health consultant Dr SM Asrar.

“The average life expectancy is comparatively lower in people who have Alzheimer’s; those who develop the disease may only live up to seven years,” he added.

Asrar maintained that Alzheimer’s cannot be easily diagnosed and there are different stages of the disease known as pre dementia, early dementia, moderate dementia and advanced dementia. It is difficult to clearly identify pre and early dementia.

During the early stages of Alzheimer’s, fluency in speaking is affected, and irritability and delusions increase. After two to three years, when the disease reaches its advance stage, the social life of a person deteriorates drastically, said Asrar, adding that Alzheimer’s has no definite cure however several medicines are prescribed to patients to reduce the disease’s effects.

He went on to say that several factors might cause this disease including diet, lifestyle and environmental factors; however, the main reason due to which this disease occurs is still unidentified.

There are three known types of the Alzheimer’s, early onset Alzheimer that is rare to diagnose and occurs in the patients before the age of 65, late onset Alzheimer is a more common type that mostly occurs after the age of 65 and the third type of Alzheimer’s is the familial type as it is hereditary.

Alzheimer’s has been found to be the fourth leading cause of death after cardiac ailments, cancer and stroke. People with Alzheimer’s are often depressed and anxious and may suffer from insomnia, poor nutrition and general poor health.

Another doctor, Dr Azimuddin Kazim, said, “Alzheimer’s is more common found in male than females. It is also a hereditary disease passed on from one generation to another. This disease is commonly found from between the ages of 60 to 65.”

Mild cognitive impairment, a staring stage of mental decline, can be a possible signal for the onset of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. The chances of developing the disease can be reduced by following a Mediterranean diet as the diet can decrease the risk because it includes healthy items such as fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes and mono-saturated fats including olive oil, while diets high on meat can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Mediterranean diets were previously said to decrease the risk of heart diseases, now, researchers have found the diet to also increase healthy brain activity.

Source: Daily Times


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