When a loved one receives a diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, or Parkinson’s disease, a cloud of emotion naturally wafts over the family. Questions concerning quality of life, decision making, treatment, and fears become prevalent in everyday conversations.
How can we provide the best possible moments and memories for our loved one? What can we do to ensure they experience the best possible days? Each diagnosis comes with its own unique set of obstacles; however, opportunities exist to provide quality care and support to your loved one.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease, also called senile dementia, is a progressive illness specific to the brain. This disease impacts memory and mental function, as it causes degeneration in brain cell connections and the cells.
The main symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss and confusion. However, other symptoms exist such as:
- Impaired judgement
- Loss of spontaneity
- Disorientation & forgetfulness
- Agitation & aggression
- Loss of appetite
- Jumbled speech
- And more cognitive, behavioral, mood, psychological and physical presentations
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a disease local to the central nervous system. This disease impacts movement and often involves tremors of the body.
With Parkinson’s Disease, dopamine levels within the body drop as a result of nerve cell damage in the brain. This causes symptoms such as a tremor in one hand, stiffness, loss of balance, and slow/unsure movement.
Other symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease include:
- Tremors of the hands and limbs
- Difficulty standing, walking, or moving
- Muscle rigidity
- Early awakening
What is the Difference Between Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease often presents itself with physical symptoms. Cognitive issues tend to arise later as the disease progresses. Studies also suggest that around 75% of individuals dealing with Parkinson’s disease for 10 years or more will develop dementia.
Alzheimer’s impacts language and memory function at the onset of the disease. Alzheimer’s patients are less likely to experience hallucinations and paranoid thoughts than Parkinson’s patients.
Improving Quality of Life
Both diseases are considered to be progressive with no known cure. However, there are things proven to slow the progression of the disease and maintain the quality of life for your loved one.
Studies have found that exercise is one of the most beneficial activities for both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients. Exercise helps to both prevent diseases, as well as slow the progression in individuals who exhibit symptoms. Harvard Health recommends 30 minutes of moderately vigorous aerobic exercise, three to four days per week.
Diet plays a pivotal role in increasing quality of life and slowing progression of disease. It is suggested that the Mediterranean diet provides the most benefit for both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of the diet are thought to be the reason behind many of the positive results.
Getting the proper amount of sleep not only helps the brain and body rest. It is also suggested that sleep provides greater amyloid clearance from the brain. It is recommended that an individual get seven to eight hours of sleep each night to prevent or slow progression of disease.
Other Healthy Habits
While exercise, healthy diet, and a good night’s rest have been shown to help prevent the progression of disease, there are other healthy habits that may also lead to positive benefits. These include:
- Social engagement
- Mental stimulation (brain games)
- Healthy stress management
- Improving vascular health
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care Benefits
Chiropractic care offers a wealth of health benefits for patients living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
First, upper cervical chiropractic care helps to increase brain function, helping to slow the progression of neurological disease. By adjusting the top two bones of the spine (Atlas and Axis), your upper cervical doctor restores the connection of the brain to the body. Proper communication allows the body to function at an optimal level, and may provide best outcomes for patients of a plethora of diseases.
Second, upper cervical care empowers patients to maintain mobility. Mobility and strength associated with chiropractic care helps to provide a higher quality of life as patients are able to enjoy the activities that bring them joy longer. Joy, contentment, and happiness may also provide mental/psychological benefits as well, decreasing the risk of depression. Upper cervical care also provides benefits such as maintaining strength, restoring, or promoting balance, reducing negative physical symptoms, and improving overall quality of life.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Is there someone in your life suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease? Contact your local upper cervical care provider today to discover how spinal alignment can improve their day-to-day life, activity, and make the most of every moment.