Regular readers know that Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are two of my major considerations in aging. To clarify: Dementia is not a disease but a group of different diseases characterized by the gradual worsening of cognitive abilities. Dementia is seen across all ethnic groups and increasingly so with advancing age. Among 65–69-year-olds, about 2 percent are afflicted, with this figure doubling for every five years of age. Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases.
I had a aunt who died of Alzheimer’s and my mother suffered from dementia in her later years. I have posted previously, How To Reduce Your Chances of Alzheimer’s and How to Reduce Your Risks of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
So, I was especially interested in this latest broadside from the National Institutes of Health – Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease – What Do We Know?
Chapter heads in the publication include the Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s; the Search for Alzheimer’s Prevention Strategies; Other Clues to Alzheimer’s Prevention, the Path to Developing New Treatments and a final chapter – So What Can You Do?
“You can do many things that may keep your brain healthy and your body fit—and help scientists find ways to prevent Alzheimer’s.
“Many actions lower the risk of chronic diseases and boost overall health and well-being. As we learn more about the role they may play in Alzheimer’s disease risk, health experts encourage all adults to:
● exercise regularly
● eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
● engage in social and intellectually stimulating activities
● control type 2 diabetes
● lower high blood pressure levels
● lower high blood cholesterol levels
● maintain a healthy weight
● stop smoking
● get treatment for depression
“Scientists do not yet know if these healthy habits can directly prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease or age-related cognitive decline. As research continues, it’s important to note the many benefits these habits have for overall health and well-being.”
Finally, it suggests, “Whether or not you have signs of Alzheimer’s, you can take one more important action—volunteer to participate in clinical trials and studies. Volunteers want to make a valuable contribution that will help scientists, people with Alzheimer’s, and their families. People who participate in this kind of research also have regular contact with medical experts who have lots of experience and a broad perspective on the disease.
“To learn more about clinical trials or to find study sites near you, contact the National Institute on Aging (NIA’s) Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center at 1-800-438-4380 or visit NIA. ”
And, last but not least, I want to recommend that you check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits).