Thursday, April 12, 2018

To Lower Your Risk, Start here!


Parade Magazine article on steps to reduce risk of Alzheimer's:

  • Know your numbers - get basic blood tests, learn your blood pressure, and body mass index.
  • Take a cognitive test - one you can take at home, 15 minute SAGE test (for a link, go to
  • Hang on to your muscle - we lose  1% of muscle mass a year if we don't do anything about it.  Mix aerobic and resistance/weight training helps burn fat.
  • Maintain a healthy weight - there may be no such thing as "fat but fit," recent studies say.
  • Eat "green, lean and clean." - Almost every brain benefits from a plant-heavy diet (veggies, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds) with lean protein (fish, especially) and low fat dairy.  Grass-fed dairy and meat have less fat.  Use extra-virgin olive oil for everything.
  • Go fishing - Brain food.  Fatty fish twice a week includes salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout and sardines. Omega-3 supplements with DHA and EPA may be a benefit.
  • Pass on late-night eating -at least 8 hours of sleep. Stop texting, checking email and watching TV 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.  You will sleep better.
  • Balance stress with downtime - every 4.5 years of work stress lead to one additional year of brain aging. Yoga, acupuncture, and regular vacations all help.
  • Keep busy and connected - Hobbies and friendships both relax and challenge the brain to learn new things.  Social contact protects it. Word on cross words and brain games is mixed--remember there is no one magic bullet.
  • Visit the dentist and the eye doctor-Untreated dental problems can cause problematic inflammation.  Vision or hearing loss can lead to social isolation.
  • Take up the ukulele-Music's benefits to the brain helps.  Listening revs you up for exercise and calms stress, but playing or singing is even better.
  • Don't smoke-you knew that.
  • Consider genetic testing - It won't tell you whether you'll get the disease as only a few genes have been linked to Alzheimer's so far.  Best studied is APOE which helps regulate fats.
  • Join a clinical trial - Early intervention research is our best chance to cure the disease, says Harvard neurologist Reisa A. Sperling.  The first person cured of Alzheimer's disease will be in a clinical trial.  Search for studies at
 Go to to take an Alzheimer's course, find links to the SAGE cognitive test. 
Thank you, Paula Spencer Scott, for this excellent article.     
Harriet Cole