November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and Alzheimer’s disease is a global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century. Almost 6 million people in the U.S. are living with the disease, which is the most expensive disease in the country. An annual cost of $290 billion includes a $195 billion cost to Medicare and Medicaid. As scientists diligently search for a cure, lifestyle choices offer the best way to delay or prevent the onset of this disease.

In the past decade, published reports show that lifestyle factors reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association has a two-year clinical trial called the U.S. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (U.S. POINTER). It will evaluate whether lifestyle interventions, that simultaneously target many risk factors, protect cognitive function in older adults who are at increased risk for cognitive decline.

To guard your cognitive health, practice the lifestyle changes of SHIELD:

S — Sleep with attention to quantity and quality.

H — Handle stress by avoiding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine and indulging in physical activity and relaxation.

I — Interact through social activities.

E — Exercise regularly. A new study found that exercise slows Alzheimer’s even after amyloid has begun to build up in the brain.

L — Learn new skills to stay mentally stimulated.

D — Diet. Eat lots of vegetables, fruits and healthy oils.

Congressman Jamie Raskin is thanked for his support of increased Alzheimer’s research funding in fiscal 2019. Please contact him to ask for his continued support of a $350 million increase in Alzheimer’s research funding in fiscal 2020.

For more information on Alzheimer’s, visit alz.org/maryland.

Larry Arthur

Walkersville

(2) comments

gary4books

Good advice for any (or all) of us and even better if it helps avoid this problem. Recent information adds one new suggestion: get enough sleep. I think even a nap when needed might help. Live to be healthy.

gary4books

I did know "sleep" is listed in the letter. However, there is new research and I wanted to highlight it.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominem criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.