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Alzheimer's Prevention Bulletin

Ask the Expert: Is Exercise Safe for My Husband?

This month’s expert is Dr. Alden Gross, PhD, MHS, Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University Center on Aging and Health.

Dear Dr. Gross,
My husband is not in great shape and I worry about the effect on his health. His mother has Alzheimer’s disease and his sister seems to be in the early stages of cognitive decline. Are there compelling reasons why it might be a good idea for him to start exercising?

Exercise may not be the silver bullet – but it’s still important

Exercise – or moving your body for those who don’t like the “e-word” – is good for us. Upon that fact, there’s widespread agreement. There also have been proven positive correlations between physical activity and cognitive health. So a natural question is, can you do an “exercise intervention” – starting exercise early in life in an effort to ensure cognitive health in your later years?

2017 – A Year of Trials and Tribulations in Alzheimer’s Research

As the year 2017 rolled in, hopes were high that a few clinical trials would have a positive outcome, resulting in a possible new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.  Although there weren’t any major breakthroughs, the fact is that we learn from our research no matter what the outcome. And that was certainly the case this year. 

Ask the Expert: Should I be concerned?

I’m not sure if my mother would be considered clinically depressed or not. She just seems like she doesn’t care about much and isn’t very engaged in her world. Could this be depression and, if so, should I be concerned that she could be at risk for developing Alzheimer’s?

Depression. . .Dementia. . .or Both?

Feeling blue, disconnected, confused. . .these are all classic signs of depression. But could these also be clues that Alzheimer’s might be on the horizon?

Think Pink AND Purple

October is heralded by a parade of pink – with a near-constant focus on breast cancer. And deservedly so, since statistics show that 12 percent of women may develop the disease. But did you know that 16 percent of women age 71 or older have dementia (compared with 11 percent of men) and that two-thirds of those with Alzheimer’s are women? 

This month – and every month – we may want to focus on purple (the color designated for Alzheimer’s awareness), as well as pink. 

Are the numbers that high because women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or simply because women live longer than men – or both? Or are there more complex factors at play? Could different life experiences, such as type and amount of education or occupation, play a role?

Maintaining Your Brain is No Game

Puzzlers take note: Rather than a rousing round of Word Find, your brain may benefit more if you pick up a golf club, grab a friend and head to the golf course for a lesson. And even, better? Walk the course rather than relying on a golf cart to get around. Brain games and puzzles may be fun and feel challenging but there’s little to no evidence of their long-term brain benefits. The good news? There are other ways to keep your brain in the game. 

Ask the Expert: Brain-Training Games

Dear Dr. Charness,

I often see ads for brain-training programs that promise to improve my memory. Some even suggest using their product could prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Should I believe these claims?
 

 

The Impact of the Game on the Athlete’s Brain

Football fans all over the country are getting ready for the season: buying jerseys … checking out player profiles online … and searching for tasty recipes for tailgate or game night gatherings. But the fun of football and other contact sports can quickly turn serious when brain injury occurs.

Ask the Expert: Why the age limits?

This month’s expert is Lon S. Schneider, MD, MS, Director, Clinical Core at the University of Southern California, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Dear Dr. Schneider,

Why don’t Alzheimer’s disease prevention trials enroll people from a broader age range? Most seem to want people in their 60s through their mid-80s.