WAUSAU – An estimated 44 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and everyone who has a brain is at risk, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Knowing the signs can help one identify Alzheimer’s disease.
“Alzheimer’s is a disorder of the brain that affects memory, thinking and reasoning. It gets worse over time, said Aspirus Memory Clinic Dr. Rick Reding. “Most people display their first signs and symptoms when they’re in their mid-60s. Those signs and symptoms can include issues such as getting lost in familiar places or losing track of the day or year.”
Growing research suggests that certain habits can help your brain stay young as you grow older.
“Exercise appears to benefit the brain just like it benefits muscles. In fact, it might both stave off mental decline and possibly even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” Reding said. ”Diet is important as well. For better brain health, make your diet heart-healthy — one that’s low in saturated fats and trans fats and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”
Other habits, such as getting enough sleep, eliminating tobacco use and staying social, are ways to keep your brain healthy, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Many Aspirus locations host Alzheimer’s support group gatherings and community memory cafés. To find these offerings near you, visit aspirus.org/classes-events.