Most aging adults are concerned with Memory Loss

This piece from USA Today (which we are posting from the Alzheimer's Association's quality website) illustrates the increasing focus on maintaining and preserving the brain and our cognitive performance as we grow older. It is probably never too early to get started. Test, games and activities that engage and enable monitoring over time are important.

That climb looked difficult, didn't it? It can't be that hard to preserve your cognitive health. How about a quick workout?

Wait a minute. Is that a workout? Or is it a 80's MTV video of the GoGo's Vacation?

USA Today
Nov. 15, 2004

More than half of Americans polled say they make an effort to engage in activities that help boost memory, according to a survey released today by the Alzheimer's Association. The telephone survey of 1,000 adults age 18 and older found that 52 percent said they did crossword puzzles or other activities known to keep the brain in shape.

Alzheimer's disease affects 4.5 million Americans today and is expected to explode in the near future. Age and family history are risk factors for the disease, but new research has increasingly shown that lifestyle factors may also play a role in the development of Alzheimer's, which causes memory loss and confusion.

Older adults were more likely than younger people to engage in brain-building activities: the survey found that 63 percent of people age 65 and older did so, compared with only 34 percent of people ages 18 to 44. Activities included: reading, doing crossword puzzles or playing games. The survey, conducted by Synovate's Telenation, also found that 77 percent of all those surveyed said they made an effort to eat a healthy diet, and 57 percent said they walked a mile or more.

Research suggests that a healthy diet and physical activity also may help stave off Alzheimer's, says Sam Gandy, a neurologist and spokesman for the Alzheimer's Association.

E-mail betterlife@usatoday.com

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