Memory Games for a Healthy Brain

We’ve all seen the ads for computer programs, memory games and apps that promise to help preserve our memory and other cognitive abilities. The problem with many commercial programs and apps is that you have to pay a monthly fee for something you may get tired of or that may not be enjoyable.Woman playing a memory game

The good news is that you don’t have to pay money to keep your brain active. You can find free brain games and puzzles on your smartphone, tablet or computer. There are also free apps and programs that help us eat right and move more, which further contribute to a healthy brain.

Brain games

Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and scrabble are old favorites that challenge our brain. Here are a few other apps and websites to check out:  Continue reading

5 Ways to Protect Your Memory

Many middle-aged adults are concerned about developing memory loss later in life. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent memory loss, researchers are finding out more and more about how the brain works and how to keep it healthy. Here are five important steps you can take to maintain a healthy brain:

It's important to interact with others.

People are good for our brain.

  1. Eat right

Choose vegetables, fish, eggs, legumes (lentils, beans), nuts, olive oil and fruits. Limit red meat, alcohol and sugar. Avoid processed and packaged food as much as possible. A healthful diet will also reduce the risk for diabetes, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Exercise

We can’t stress enough the importance of all types of exercise. If you haven’t exercised for a while, start by walking. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. Talk with your doctor before you pursue any formal exercise program.  Continue reading

How to Tell a Loved One When It’s Time to Give Up the Keys

Advice for telling family members when it's time to stop driving

There are several skills necessary for “safe driving.” These include a good memory, sequencing skills Driving blogand the ability to dual task, just to name a few. Unfortunately, these cognitive abilities are also the ones most affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.

Before deciding if a person is no longer a safe driver, it’s important to watch for some of the following signs:

  • Difficulty navigating familiar places, changing lanes, or making turns
  • Slowing down driving speed dramatically when having a conversation
  • Confusing the brake and gas pedals
  • Failing to observe traffic signals

Continue reading

Be a link in the chain of Alzheimer’s research

Now is the time to join our discovery team

Currently, there are over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. To prevent or delay the illuminated stone headonset of the disease, we need to do research and discover new treatments.

We’ve all been asked to lend a hand with something or donate a little time for a good cause.  It is quite eye opening how we benefit from volunteers who have helped improved our lives and enriched our culture – including medical discoveries that we rely on every day.

Research volunteers, who generously give up their personal time to become part of an Alzheimer’s research study, play a crucial role in the discovery of improved treatment options and cures for this disease. These do not just get discovered by scientists working in a lab, but also because people and families who are Continue reading

Encouraging News About the Incidence of Dementia

Many projections forecast a major increase in dementia in coming decades. With populations aging across the globe, many more elderly adults are expected to develop dementia.Better heart health reducing dementia

Current projections, for example, predict that cases of dementia will triple in the United States alone.

The results of several recent European studies, however, suggest a more optimistic future.

Large studies of aging individuals in Britain, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands indicate that a smaller proportion of aging individuals will experience cognitive impairment and dementia than had been anticipated.

While no one doubts that the aging of the worldwide population will result in marked increases in the number of individuals with dementia, the future may not be as grim as projected – which is very encouraging. Continue reading

Dementia: Reduce your risk by staying active

sarah_shair

Sarah Shair, MA, research associate at the MADC

At a recent outreach event, I asked people to name something they could do to reduce their risk for developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The most common answer that I received was, “do crossword puzzles.”

While crossword puzzles and other brain games are great for your mind, another important and effective way to reduce your risk of dementia is with physical activity. Numerous research studies have linked regular physical activity to a reduced risk of experiencing cognitive decline and developing dementia.

How does it work?
Use it or lose it! As we age, our brains tend to shrink. Physical exercise, however, counteracts this process and actually enables our brains to grow new neurons. In fact, brain imaging studies comparing the brains of active versus inactive adults have found the brains of active adults are larger, especially in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for memory. Continue reading