Roberts: Focus on brain health this month


During Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month this June, the Alzheimer's Association encourages all Americans to take charge of their brain health. Today, there are nearly 7 million Americans ages 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s dementia, including 22,300 in Delaware.

The lifetime risk for the disease at age 45 is 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 10 for men. The brain changes that cause Alzheimer’s are thought to begin 20 years or more before symptoms start, which suggests there may be a substantial window of time in which we can intervene in disease progression.

Based on mounting scientific evidence, the Alzheimer’s Association launched its “Healthy Habits for Your Brain” campaign, which encourages Americans of all ages to protect themselves from dementia through positive, everyday actions — encouraging individuals to incorporate 10 healthy habits into their lives to potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

It is estimated that the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s will reach nearly 13 million by 2050. If we do not take aggressive measures to reduce the prevalence of dementia, costs could rise as high as $1 trillion annually by that year. Having lost my father and mother-in-law to dementia, I understand all too well its impact on our families and communities.

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month is the perfect time to make your brain health a priority. It’s never too early or too late to start. Visit alz.org/healthyhabits to learn more.

Robin M. Roberts

Community Board of Excellence member, Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley chapter


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