0800 GMT February 21, 2019
A healthy lifestyle plays a key role in prevention of Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis (MS), Iranian neurologist Dr. Nahid Beladi-Moqaddam told Iran Daily.However, the main causes of these diseases are not clearly identified, she asserted.
"Alzheimer's disease is among cognitive disorders which is caused by the cerebral atrophy (the loss of brain cells) during the course of which brain's functions decline. No one has ever figured out an accurate way to prevent Alzheimer's," Beladi-Moqaddam said.
"MS is an autoimmune disease in which the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord are damaged by the body's immune system.
"Studies indicate that people with more knowledge are less affected by Alzheimer's," she said, pointing to the mental activities as a key factor in preventing the disease.
She also said that smoking — hookah in particular — could increase MS risk.
"However, with some healthy changes to your lifestyle, you can curb the progress of these diseases and avoid the consequences," the brain specialist added.
According to Beladi-Moqaddam, inactivity, smoking, fast food and high-fat food consumption are all associated with the high risk of Alzheimer's and MS.
She also stressed the significance of depression and hypnotic pills in increasing the risk of diseases, saying that long-term and continuous depressions should be taken seriously.
Beladi-Moqaddam then pointed to the causes of the stroke, asserting, "The main cause of stroke in 30 percent of cases remains unknown. However, in order to reduce the risk of all types of stroke, a healthy diet and physical activities should be prioritized."
She added, "Atherosclerosis (the disease in which the inner part of an artery narrows) may start to occur at the age of 30-35. So, with a healthy lifestyle, it is possible to minimize the risk of the disease in the future.”
The 25th Congress of Neurology and Clinical Electrophysiology of Iran is underway at Tehran's Olympic Hotel. It will run until May 4.
Beladi-Moqaddam, the president of the congress, said "Various brain diseases, namely epilepsy, stroke, involuntary movements disorders, headaches, MS and neuromuscular disorders are to be discussed at the congress."
Speaking about the possibility of stroke during pregnancy, Beladi-Moqaddam said, "Pregnant women are more exposed to strokes because coagulation forms more blood clots in this period.
"Women with the history of rheumatologic and diseases are more affected by the strokes," she said, adding that a speech, regarding the stroke as a neurologic side effect of the pregnancy, would be addressed at the congress.
The faculty member and assistant professor at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences cited other topics which are to be discussed at the congress as latest scientific achievements and medical diagnosis of MS, the medication monitoring and the length of treatment periods for the patients.