Alzheimer’s Association Calls on Americans to Prioritize Brain Health

Americans Prioritize Brain Health as Alzheimer’s Association | Healthcare 360 Magazine


As part of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month this June, the Alzheimer’s Association is urging Americans to focus on their brain health. Currently, nearly 7 million individuals aged 65 and older in the U.S. live with Alzheimer’s dementia, with 459,300 of these cases in Texas alone. The lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 45 is 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 10 for men. Experts suggest that the brain changes leading to Alzheimer’s begin approximately 20 years before symptoms manifest, providing a significant window for intervention.

Alzheimer’s is believed to result from multiple factors rather than a single cause. Advancing age is the most significant known risk factor, though it is not a direct cause. While some risk factors, such as age, are unchangeable, others can be modified to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. These modifiable factors include physical activity, smoking, education, mental challenges, blood pressure, and diet.

“Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month is the perfect opportunity for Texas residents to take charge of their brain health,” said Valerie Sanchez, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association West Texas Chapter, in a news release. “We want people to know there are steps they can take to potentially reduce their risk of cognitive decline. We also want to encourage anyone experiencing memory or thinking problems to talk to their doctor. There are many possible causes — and if it is Alzheimer’s disease, there are numerous benefits to getting a timely diagnosis.”

Practical Steps for Brain Health

Throughout June, the Alzheimer’s Association provides five key recommendations to improve brain health. Firstly, incorporating healthy habits is crucial. Research indicates that up to 40% of dementia cases worldwide might be attributable to modifiable risk factors. The Alzheimer’s Association encourages individuals to adopt their “10 Healthy Habits” to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and possibly dementia. It’s essential to start these habits regardless of age or life stage.

Secondly, recognizing the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is vital. While memory loss is a common symptom, other indicators such as altered judgment, mood changes, and difficulties in decision-making can signal cognitive decline. Although some memory changes are part of normal aging, significant changes that interfere with daily living should prompt a medical consultation. The Alzheimer’s Association offers resources to help identify these early signs.

Thirdly, being proactive about memory and thinking problems is essential. Many individuals delay discussing these issues with a doctor. A 2022 Alzheimer’s Association report revealed that 60% of U.S. adults would not see a doctor immediately if they experienced mild cognitive impairment symptoms. Early detection and diagnosis are critical for effective care, management, and treatment. Timely diagnosis allows individuals to plan for the future, participate in clinical trials, and maintain a higher quality of life for as long as possible.

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