June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Health Awareness Month, which is the perfect opportunity to talk about what makes a brain healthy.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the state of Florida should expect a 33.3% increase in the number of those living with Alzheimer’s by 2025, bringing the number of those over the age of 65 with this disease to 720,000. There is no cure and treatment options are limited for those living with Alzheimer’s disease. This makes early detection and possible prevention pertinent for positive patient outcomes.
Learn About Our Memory Disorder Clinic
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is home to the region’s only Memory Disorder Clinic, funded through a grant from the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs as a part of the state’s Alzheimer’s Disease Initiative Program. At the Memory Disorder Clinic, neurologists, neuropsychologists and social workers provide comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and treatments for patients experiencing memory problems, such as:
- Increased forgetfulness
- Personality or behavioral changes
- Trouble with speech, reading or writing skills
- Difficulty completing daily activities
For patients diagnosed with a memory disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease, our multidisciplinary team of experts create an individualized suggested plan of care and offer a variety of services and community resources, including:
- Support groups
- Referral to community resources
- Training opportunities for caregivers and professionals
- Educational library
- Caregiver counseling
- ACTS Project
- PEACEOFMIND Study
Reduce Your Risk by Maintaining a Healthy Brain
At the Tallahassee Memorial Memory Disorder Clinic, we recognize the importance of brain health – as it has a positive impact on slowing memory decline and disorders – and participate in community outreach opportunities to share education about early detection, as we fight to end Alzheimer’s disease.
When we are out in the community, one of the most common questions we are asked is “How can I prevent Alzheimer’s disease?” Unfortunately, there is not a pill or one magic exercise that anyone can do to “prevent” the disease. However, there are ways to reduce your risk factors and build resiliency in your brain for a happy and healthier life.
10 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Brain
Here are ten key factors to a healthy lifestyle to help cognition and thinking:
- Physical Exercise - Break a sweat by engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate, pumping blood to your brain and body. This blood flow to the brain can help reduce cognitive decline.
- Stay Sharp - Hit the books in some sort of formal education. Taking a class at a local college, community center or online can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia
- Quit Smoking - Smoking increases the risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking can reduce risk to levels comparable to those who have not smoked.
- Heart Health - Whatever is good for your heart is good for your brain. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes can all negatively impact your cognitive health.
- Safety First - Protect your brain by always wearing a seatbelt and helmet. Brain injury can raise the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
- Healthy Diet - Food fuels not only the body, but also your mind. Eating a well-balanced diet of vegetables, berries, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, fish, beans and poultry can decrease the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
- Adequate Sleep - Sleep is very important for the body and brain to repair and recover from the day. Not getting enough sleep due to conditions such as insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems in memory and thinking.
- Mental Health - Taking care of your mental health is also an important ingredient when thinking about decreasing the risk of cognitive decline. It is so important to seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. Managing stress in your life also can have a positive impact on cognitive health.
- Social Interaction - Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Finding ways to get out of the house and be around others in the community can affect a person’s mental and physical well-being.
- Cognitive Stimulation - Challenging your mind and trying something new can also help build new neuropathways in the brain which can be a protective factor against cognitive decline and dementia.