Does Alzheimer’s Prevention Work?

Today more than 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Studies suggest that strategies for healthy aging may help keep your brain fit and could be a deterrent to the disease. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, a brand new book by Dr. Gary Small, best-selling author and educator, offers a program to take control and reduce the risk of getting the disease.

Dr. Small recently visited the Chicago area to introduce his new book among older adults at communities including Vi at The Glen and Central Baptist Village in Norridge.

How To Take Control
According to Dr. Small, today’s “cure” for Alzheimer’s is prevention, and his new book, “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program,” offers readers strategies on how to take control.

His program features findings from the latest research, and introduces a 7-day lifestyle program that includes memory training and mental health workouts, healthy brain nutrition, stress-reduction strategies and the best aerobic and strength exercises. It’s an easy-to-implement program that could help reduce the risk of getting the disease and improve mental clarity.

{loadposition incontent_health4}“Our program begins with an assessment that checks everything from recall to physical balance,” says Dr. Small. “Then, with a baseline established, it introduces the 7-day jumpstart program. It takes just 7 days to begin to start protecting your brain from Alzheimer’s.”

Risk Factors
Most experts believe that the majority of Alzheimer’s disease cases occur as a result of complex interactions among genes and other risk factors. Age, family history and heredity are all risk factors that can’t change. Now, research is beginning to reveal clues about other risk factors that people may be able to influence through general lifestyle and wellness choices and effective management of other health conditions.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, these strategies may offer some protection against developing Alzheimer’s or related disorders. In general, the association recommends that older adults should do the following:

  • Keep weight within recommended guidelines
  • Avoid tobacco and excess alcohol
  • Stay socially connected
  • Exercise both body and mind

More Research and Funding Needed
Dr. Small points out that government of funding of Alzheimer’s research—about $500 million annually—pales in comparison to the $6 billion targeted for cancer. He believes that we need to look more closely at the kind of research that is conducted, and advocate strongly for more research.