Alzheimer, Dementia and Aging

 Many people fear the day they are forced to acknowledge they are not remembering things. The media is loaded with stories about Alzheimer’s and Dementia, its effects on aging, lifestyle, ways to slow the process and how to live with these diseases.

“A Cheater’s Guide to Beating Alzheimer’s” was published in Parade Magazine on Sunday 4/8/18. The following is a sample of the information presented.

If you can’t remember why you entered a room or where you left your keys, that does not guarantee you will develop dementia or Alzheimer’s. Richard S. Isaacson, M.D., a neurologist and clinic founder at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, indicated scientist think a mixture of lifestyle, genes, age, environment and health conditions contribute to brain changes leading to Alzheimer’s possibly 20 or 25 years prior to symptoms.

There are a few places across the county with new tests for people in younger years to help determine the likelihood of showing signs of Alzheimer’s. The test creates the “ABC’s of Alzheimer’s prevention.” If threats are identified, some issues may be fixed early, preventing or slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s.

According to the article “up to one-third of dementia cases can be delayed or prevented.”

A few things that appear to lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s include:

  • High School class ranking; being an early achiever
  • The size of your waist in your 20’s compared to today
  • Dreamers are better sleepers and rest is an important factor
  • Music – growing research indicates music, playing or singing has benefits
  • Knowing your “numbers” from blood tests and making appropriate lifestyle changes
  • Cognitive testing – create a baseline of current thinking skills. The SAGE test can be completed at home. (for a link. Go to alzu.org)
  • Maintain muscle mass
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat “green, lean and clean”
  • Eat fatty fish twice a week (salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout and sardines)
  • Don’t eat or snack after dinner
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep. Put away electronic devices and turn off the TV 30 to 45 minutes prior to sleep.
  • Balance stress with downtime
  • Have hobbies and friendships
  • Make sure to have regular eye and dental exams
  • Don’t smoke
  • Consider genetic testing

The Alzheimer’s Association-funded U.S. Pointer study will begin the largest-ever lifestyle study on preventing cognitive decline with enrollment beginning in June. This will take place across 5 U.S. regions with the first being in Wake Forest, NC and Northern California. They are looking for symptom free participants for the study. Visit alz.org/us-pointer for more information.

BJH Foundation 2018 Grant awards will be announced in the next Shalom Greensboro edition. The grants fund programs for Jewish adults, helping improve lives and connect people with needed services. Many times Jewish Dementia and Alzheimer adults benefit from the BJH Foundation grants awarded throughout North and South Carolina.

For more information about BJH Foundation, a printed copy of the survey or other matters, please contact Wendee Cutler at 336-854-8400 or email wcutler@bjhfoundation.org.