(KFVS) - Alzheimer's is a form of dementia that most often affects adults 60 and older. The disease affects memory, language and decision-making abilities and can also cause changes in mood, including anxiety, language and depression.
More than five million people are affected by Alzheimer's, but the disease is not considered a normal part of aging and can be prevented.
Since September is World Alzheimer's Month, Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center's Senior Extra program is offering tips to help keep a healthy brain and lower the possibility of getting Alzheimer's:
- Get physical exercise regularly. Exercise helps maintain good blood flow to the brain and encourages new cell growth. Aerobic exercise helps improve oxygen consumption, which benefits brain function. Thirty minutes of exercise a day is recommended.
- Maintain a healthy weight and avoid foods high in fat and cholesterol. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, a long-term study showed that individuals who were obese in middle age were twice as likely to develop dementia later in life.
- Increase the intake of brain healthy foods. These foods include any dark-skinned fruits or vegetables, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, prunes, blueberries and blackberries, which help protect brain cells.
- Be socially active. Research shows that socially active people maintain brain strength.
- Do mentally stimulating activities. Play memory games, crossword puzzles, or even attend a class at a local college or university. Keeping the brain active can strengthen brain cells and their connections.
Alzheimer's is a disease that affects millions, but can be prevented, lessened or postponed. Getting exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and eating brain healthy foods can greatly combat this disease.