Can A Job Protect You from Alzheimerâ€™s?
By Sara Butler
There’s some interesting new data suggesting that some jobs may protect you from Alzheimer’s disease. The social interaction provided by the job as well as the way it challenges your mind may protect your brain from the negative impact of this disease and even offset some damage caused by it. With five million people in the United States battling Alzheimer’s today, research such as this can be a real game changer.
Here’s what you need to know about how your everyday lifestyle choices can play a huge factor in this disease.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s is a disease that impacts the brain, making thinking, memory and behavior challenging as it progresses. Symptoms are found to begin slowly and then start to worsen over time, often becoming severe enough to interfere with daily life tasks.
It’s known as a form of dementia, which is a generalized term for memory loss and the loss of other intellectual capabilities. Alzheimer’s accounts for between 60 and 80 percent of all cases of dementia.
It’s not a normal part of aging, either. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is aging, but it’s not a natural consequence of growing older. It has no known cure right now, but research is constantly trying to find new treatments for people who suffer from this disease to help improve their quality of life as well as their loved ones who care for them.
How Your Job May Impact Your Brain
The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference debuted evidence this year that some jobs may actually protect people from the damaging impact of Alzheimer’s. Jobs that are complex and encourage more connections between brain cells to form may create more resilient brains resistant to damage later in life. This means that people with complex jobs requiring problem solving skills and social interaction may be able to better withstand the damage from dementia and Alzheimer’s as they age, giving the disease less of a foothold because they’ve built their brains up to work around it.
People with a formal education and complex occupations have been found in research studies to develop the disease less frequently, indicating that lifestyle factors play a much larger part than previously thought.
So, how does your job stack up? Remember, your job isn’t the only preventative factor when it comes to Alzheimer’s. You need to look at your diet, reduce the amount of processed foods, white potatoes, and red meat you eat. You also need to do things in your spare time that can build connections between cells in your brain such as puzzles, and get as much social interaction as you can stand!