Our afternoon session included an update of statistics and understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is the most expensive disease in the US. and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. 1 in 9 people over 65 have Alzheimer’s and the percentage increases to 1 in 3 of those over 85. There is such a fear of this disease, that only 47% of those with it are not told they have it. As causes of earlier death are declining, Alzheimer’s disease is increasing with our aging population. Presently there is no cure, but for those affected by Alzheimer’s there is a site for exploring clinical trials of treatments: http://www.alz.org/research/clinical_trials/find_clinical_trials_trialmatch.asp
Alzheimer’s disease is progressive and, although as of now there is no cure, there are measures we can take to reduce the manifestations of this and other forms of dementia. Generally, what is good for the heart is also good for the brain.
- Keep mentally active by reading, playing games, and doing puzzles.
- Learn a new skill, language, or playing a musical instrument.
- Keep physically active with regular moderate to vigorous exercise.
- Don’t smoke.
- Consume moderate amounts of alcohol.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid head injuries.
- Manage stress.
- Eat healthy foods such as fruits and veggies, nuts, beans, nuts, whole grains, lean meat, fish and poultry.
- Avoid saturated/trans fats, processed foods, deep fried foods, extra sugar and salt.
- Socialize with family and community.
The Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org , 800-272-3900 is perhaps the best resource for information and help including understanding the differences between normal age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
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