Sandra Bond Chapman Ph.D.

Make Your Brain Smarter

Should You Be Concerned About Alzheimer's Disease?

Why replacing concern with commitment is important to your brain's health

Posted Nov 20, 2013

As the numbers of those with Alzheimer’s disease continue to climb because of the aging Baby Boomer generation, treatable versus untreatable cognitive decline has become one of the greatest public health concerns today. Now more than ever, aging Americans are more concerned about Alzheimer’s disease than any other ailment—even cancer.

Until recently, cognitive decline in healthy adults were viewed as an inevitable consequence of living longer. However, science has proven that cognitive decline is not inevitable, and genes do not determine your brain’s fate. Replace any concern with a proactive commitment to adopt healthy habits that promote optimum brain performance. Here are some suggestions to make sure that your best brain years are ahead of you, not behind you.

1. Examine: Get a check-up from the neck up. Talk to your doctor about having a cognitive assessment to establish a baseline of cognitive function as well as a plan to help strengthen areas where improvement would be beneficial. Memory issues do not always mean Alzheimer’s disease, so don’t let fear prevent you from seeking help.

2. Exercise: Exercise your mind, not just your body. Be proactive to stay mentally vibrant. Science shows that we rewire our brain by how we use it everyday. For a mental workout, rev up your critical thinking skills by revitalizing all incoming information with your own fresh perspective.

3. Exhale: Information overload and multitasking are detrimental to your brain’s health. To combat these cultural landmines, take a deep breath, exhale and treat your brain to down time for at least five minutes, five times a day.

Keeping your brain as fit as possible is important for delaying Alzheimer’s disease, but may be even more essential and productive for extending our years of cognitive brain health in the absence of dementia.

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