If you or a loved one has dealt with the effects of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, you'll be happy to know that great strides in the disease's prevention and risk reduction are taking place right in our own backyard.
On Thursday, Jan. 27, the Lakewood Ranch-based Brain Health Initiative was part of a virtual meeting with more than 200 organizations fighting for the prevention of Alzheimer's Disease.
If you or a loved one has dealt with the effects of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, you'll be happy to know that great strides in the prevention and risk reduction of the disease are taking place right in our own backyard.
On Thursday, Jan. 27, the Lakewood Ranch-based Brain Health Initiative was part of a virtual meeting of more than 200 organizations fighting for the prevention of Alzheimer's Disease.
The host of the meeting, the UsAgainstAlzheimer's Brain Health Partnership, is hoping to reduce the prevalence of risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease by 15 percent—or 1.2 million cases—by 2050.
Right now, Alzheimer's disease is the third leading cause of death in America. But with a healthy lifestyle and proper access to health care, risk factors for developing Alzheimer's can be reduced. These include depression, diabetes, hearing loss, mid-life hypertension, inactivity, poor sleep, brain injury and alcohol and tobacco use.
Health inequities, lack of access to care and cultural stigma around an Alzheimer's diagnosis are also risk factors. Notably, older Black adults are twice as likely and Hispanic adults one to two times more likely to develop Alzheimer's, according to the CDC. This can be due to genetics, but also due to social factors including health, higher levels of poverty, fewer options for exercise and a lack of access to education.
So, what can can be done to reduce the odds of developing Alzheimer's disease?
Visit your primary care doctor on a regular basis.
They can watch out for warning signs and symptoms.
Take care of your heart.
American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown says there is an important relationship between the heart and the brain. "Whatever you do to improve heart health, will improve the health of your brain, too," she adds.
Stay social and mentally active.
Depression and isolation can increase your risk of Alzheimer's. Find social activities you enjoy, volunteer or pick up a new hobby.
Get proper sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends you get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. You may only need seven to eight if you're over age 65.
Support the cause.
Visit the Department of Health and Human Services website to view national plan. Donating to the Brain Health Initiative and other national research projects will further the knowledge and understanding of the disease, which will provide better treatment options.