Members of our household found Jean Carper's recent book (based on UCLA studies), "100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's" encouraging. We have long known that the Baby Boomers fear Alzheimers more than any other malady and have felt helpless in its wake. As a group we like control and Jean has given us some ways in which we can take matters into our own hands. Here are five things you can do now to help save your child (or grandchild) from Alzheimer's and memory loss later in life, according to the latest research.
1. Prevent head blows: Insist your child wear a helmet during biking, skating,
skiing, baseball, football, hockey, and all contact sports. A major blow as well
as tiny repetitive unnoticed concussions can cause damage, leading to memory loss and Alzheimer's years later.
2 Encourage language skills: A teenage girl who is a superior writer is eight
times more likely to escape Alzheimer's in late life than a teen with poor
linguistic skills. Teaching young children to be fluent in two or more languages
makes them less vulnerable to Alzheimer's.
3. Insist your child go to college: Education is a powerful Alzheimer's deterrent. The more years of formal schooling, the lower the odds. Most Alzheimer's prone: teenage drop outs. For each year of education, your risk of dementia drops 11%, says a recent University of Cambridge study. ( use your imagination more - stop so much TV )
4. Provide stimulation: Keep your child's brain busy with physical, mental and
social activities and novel experiences. All these contribute to a bigger,
better functioning brain with more so-called 'cognitive reserve.' High cognitive
reserve protects against memory decline and Alzheimer's.
5. Spare the junk food: Lab animals raised on berries, spinach and high omega-3 fish have great memories in old age. Those overfed sugar, especially high fructose in soft drinks, saturated fat and trans fats become overweight and diabetic, with smaller brains and impaired memories as they age, a prelude to Alzheimer's.
Don't be afraid - be proactive for you and everyone you love,
Excerpted from Jean Carper's newest book:
"100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's"