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Five Actions to Take on World Alzheimer's Day

Alzheimer's is a currently incurable, debilitating and emotionally devastating disease of the brain, and 5.3 million Americans are living with it today. If no new medical breakthrough is made, it is projected that almost 14 million people will have it by 2050 and countless millions of family and friends will feel its overwhelming impact.

While no cure or preventive treatment currently exists, there are five things you can do on World Alzheimer's Day (September 21) to advance prevention research, help those affected by it and even reduce your personal risk of developing the disease.

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Ask the Expert: Cognitive Reserve and Alzheimer's

Dear Dr. Manly,

I've heard that the more education a person has, the more of a buffer – "cognitive reserve" – he or she has against Alzheimer's and other dementias. Based on this information, should I be getting my children more involved in after-school enrichment programs and looking for ways to challenge them more academically? Would this be a good way to build their cognitive reserve?

Sincerely,
Vanessa

My Mother Had Alzheimer’s. Will My Fate Be the Same?

Carol documents her experience with Alzheimer's. Her mother lost her battle with the disease at an early age and Carol has since then been trying to figure out her own fate. She debates the swarms of data she finds in hopes that Alzheimer's will not happen to her.

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A Surprising Way to Volunteer in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Ann shares her experience with Alzheimer's. She volunteers her time to Alzheimer's research with annual memory and neurological exams, brain scans, spinal taps, etc. to help in the effort of curing Alzheimer's. She encourages others to participate if they have the gene in their family.

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A Better Treatment for Alzheimer’s: Exercise

Exercise can prevent Alzheimer's disease, and now research shows it works as a great therapy, as well. Vigorous exercise not only makes Alzheimer's patients feel better, but it makes changes in the brain that could indicate improvements, researchers told the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Thursday.

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Younger Adults With Alzheimer's Are Key To Drug Search

The face of Alzheimer's isn't always old. Sometimes it belongs to someone like Giedre Cohen, who is 37, yet struggles to remember her own name. People like Giedre have a rare gene mutation that causes symptoms of Alzheimer's to appear before they turn 60.Until recently, people who inherited this gene had no hope of avoiding dementia and an early death. Now there is a glimmer of hope, thanks to a project called DIAN TU that is allowing them to take part in a study of experimental Alzheimer's drugs.

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New Wave of Alzheimer's Research Aims to Diagnose, Treat Much Earlier

As Alzheimer's researchers gain greater understanding of the disease, there's a growing sense that developing effective treatments will need to take into account a mixture of factors including genetics, immune system and lifestyle. And starting those treatments years sooner may be key.

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Does Sleep Help Prevent Alzheimer’s?

We spend one-third of our lives sleeping and research shows it's time well spent. Sleep plays a significant role in our energy and productivity during the other two-thirds of our lives. Now scientists are studying whether sleep may help slow or prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Ask the Expert: Brain Health and Diet

Dear Dr. Cummings,

It's my 40th birthday this July and I'm ready to make a positive change in my diet. I've heard that what you eat affects your brain health. That concerns me. I work full-time during the day and go to school several evenings a week so I need to be at the top of my game. Most days, I have an apple for lunch, but then I end up snacking on the donuts or cookies in the office kitchen. At the end of the day, I dash into a fast food restaurant on my way to school. On weekends, my husband and I like to indulge in a steak dinner with a glass of wine. Can you help me get on the right track?

Sincerely,
Natalie

Could What’s On Your Plate Help Reduce Your Risk for Alzheimer’s?

The phrase "heart healthy" was inspired by a way of eating that helps prevent heart disease. Experts predict that "brain healthy" food will soon make its way into our vocabularies and, they hope, on to our plates.