Advice on reducing risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias
Since 2009, former California First Lady Maria Shriver has been an Alzheimer’s research activist, especially as the disease relates to women. To bring awareness to this disease that seems to affect women more than men, Shriver founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement™ almost ten years ago. The organization is a global alliance of individuals, organizations, researchers, foundations, influencers and industry leaders committed to finding out why Alzheimer’s discriminates against women.
As part of the group’s advocacy, education and fundraising efforts, the “Move for Minds” event was launched three years ago, in order to improve awareness and understanding about the disease, which is the 6th leading cause of death in the country. In June, Shriver, who is also an Emmy-award winning journalist and best- selling author, will host four Move for Mind fundraisers and forums across the country, in conjunction with Equinox Sports Clubs.
The day-long events offer high-energy exercise classes and panels featuring leading scientists and lifestyle experts. In addition to educating on brain-healthy tips to challenge the body and brain, the events will raise critical funds for women-centered Alzheimer’s research.
How Alzheimer’s Affects Women
The statistics on women and Alzheimer’s disease are startling. Every 66 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s, but did you know that 2/3 of them are women? Also, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, women in their 60s are more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s over the course of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.1
Another disconcerting stat is that once women develop mild cognitive impairment, their cognitive decline is two times faster than men. No one yet knows why women are so disproportionately affected by the disease.
Scientists once thought that women were harder hit by Alzheimer’s as a consequence of generally living longer than men. Heather Snyder, senior director of medical and scientific operations for the Alzheimer’s Association, says that this isn’t the case and that new studies suggest there are different biological pathways in women’s brains and that hormones or even the way women’s brains metabolize food differently may explain why Alzheimer’s manifests itself more in women. 1
Snyder also says that because Alzheimer’s typically takes two decades to develop before memory changes occur, adopting a brain-healthy lifestyle in your 30s and 40s can make a big difference. Maria Shriver, not surprisingly, agrees and has a lot to say about a brain-healthy lifestyle.
Maria Shriver’s Top Tips for Brain Health
We are learning more everyday about how to age well and Shriver is a staunch believer that mental, physical and spiritual balance can make a difference. Current research does indicate that combining good nutrition with mental, social and physical activities can in fact help stave off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Shriver’s tips for a brain-healthy life include the following:
Alzheimer’s may in fact be the biggest health crisis in the world, and if “women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis, we must be at the heart of solution,” says Shriver. She is making great strides in helping us understand why women are so hard hit by Alzheimer’s, which may unlock information that can lead to a cure for everyone suffering from the disease regardless of gender. Meanwhile, there are many ways to prevent Alzheimer’s and live a brain-healthy life.
This article was posted on Home Care Assistance
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