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Preventing Alzheimers by Reading Books

In: English and Literature

Submitted By drcopeland7294
Words 702
Pages 3
Preventing Alzheimer’s By Reading Books
ENG 215
March 2, 2015

Preventing Alzheimer’s By Reading Books
Introduction
Imagine yourself at the end of your life, you’re reflecting back on all the things you have accomplished, the family and friends you have loved and had love you. You smile because you have wonderful memories to cherish and enjoy. Now imagine those memories slowly being taken from you, you start to forget all the things that made your life worth living. This is what Alzheimer's does to its victims. By taking action now, doing something as simple as reading books regularly, you can greatly reduce your chances of being another of its victims.
Issue
Alzheimer’s is a serious brain disease that affects about 10% of people over the age of 65, rising to 50% for those over 85. It is estimated that, by the year 2050, over 15 million people in the United States will suffer from the disease (Robinson, 2015). The disease starts out slowly, going from forgetting little things, to no longer being able to remember who you are. While there are factors out of your control, such as genetics, there are lifestyle factors that have an equally critical influence on the development of the disease.
SOCO
Keeping the brain active through mental stimulation, such as reading a book, can help to prevent the development of Alzheimer's. People who continue to learn, to challenge their brains, have a significantly reduced risk of developing the disease (Smith, 2015). The reason for this is because the accumulation of beta-amyloid, the Alzheimer’s protein, is significantly reduced. Those who are in the beginning stages of the disease can slow its progress by engaging in mentally stimulating activities (Live Science, 2012). This was learned in a recent study that compared lifestyles and positron emission tomography (PET) scans between healthy people in their 20's, healthy people over 65 and those with Alzheimer's. All three groups were surveyed on the frequency with which they read books or newspapers over the course of their lifetime. The PET scans were used to compare the levels of the beta-amyloid protein found in the participant's brains. The PET scans revealed an interesting connection between the amount of regular mental stimulation and the levels of beta-amyloid. The adults over the age of 65 that continued to keep mentally active by reading were found to have beta-amyloid levels similar to that of those in their 20’s. The adults that did not continue to keep mentally active were found to have beta-amyloid levels similar to those with Alzheimer’s (Live Science, 2012).
WIIFMS
To reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s you need to keep mentally active by reading books throughout your life. It is best to set aside time each day to read, any time of the day that suits you best. Spending just 15 to 30 minutes a day reading can have tremendous benefits. It does not matter what genre of books you prefer to read, it is the act of reading itself that gives you mental stimulation and not the type of book. You do not have to purchase books; you can go to your local library and check them out for free. Many libraries now also have digital books so you can easily check out books to read on your tablet, eReader, or smartphone.
Conclusion
We all want to be able to look back over our life, to hold onto cherished memories in our old age. We also want to pass on to our grandchildren our experiences and wisdom. To do this, we need to spend a little time each day reading a book to keep our brains mentally stimulated, to reduce the accumulation of the beta-amyloid protein. Doing this prevents the development of Alzheimer's, the disease that can rob us of the memory of our life.

References
Live Science. (2012). How Books, Puzzles Might Help Ward Off Alzheimer's. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/36108-cognitive-simulation-alzheimers-disease.html
Robinson, L. (2015). Alzheimer’s Disease. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia/alzheimers-disease.htm
Smith, M. (2015). Alzheimer's and Dementia Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia/alzheimers-and-dementia-prevention.htm

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