June is June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month
Every 67 seconds someone is newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Everyone who has a brain is at risk to develop Alzheimer’s, the only leading cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
Who is affected by Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5.5 million Americans of all ages. By 2050, this number could rise as high as 16 million. Every 67 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s. Of those living with Alzheimer’s disease, 5.3 million are age 65 and older. About one in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s. Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
What are the signs of Alzheimer’s?
If your loved one is experiencing a decline in memory, thinking or reasoning skills, it may be a sign your loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia. Here are some of the common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. (Signs and symptoms may vary from one individual to the next.)
Memory loss that disrupts daily life
Changes in mood and personality
Confusion with time or place
Decreased or poor judgement
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
Withdrawal from work or social activities
Challenges in planning or solving problems
New problems with words in speaking or writing
What can you do for better brain health?
Excersize 3-5 times a week. In addition to improved heart health, regular endurance exercise, like running, swimming or biking, can also foster new brain cell growth and preserve existing brain cells.
Research shows that a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fish, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, olives, and nuts helps maintain brain health and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Sleep & Relaxation
Few things feel better than a good night’s sleep. Quality time with the sandman puts us in a better mood and sharpens our brains. It also gives us the energy and the ability to run our busy lives!
A variety of medical conditions are strongly linked to the decline of brain function. Keep your blood pressure and weight at a healthy level, take medication as prescribed, cut down on salt and sugar, keep active and stay socially connected and positive.
You have something called “brain reserve,” which helps your brain adapt and respond to changes and resist damage. People who continue to learn, embrace new activities, and develop new skills and interests are building and improving their brain reserve.
A rich social network provides sources of support, reduces stress, combats depression and enhances intellectual stimulation. Studies have shown that those with the most social interaction experience the slowest rate of memory decline.