Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mind Your Mind - Alzheimer's Disease Awareness

Last Friday, schoolboys were selling fund-raising badges and toys. I noticed the toys included yellow elephants and squeezable brains. How could I resist buying these items with my interest in memory and brain skills?

The fund-raising was for Alzheimer's Australia research projects.

What is Alzheimer's disease and how can it be prevented?

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in the elderly and may start as early as mid-fifties. The cause is faster than normal loss of nerve cells in the brain, the cause of which is unknown.

Alzheimer's symptoms include recent loss of memory, loss of initiative and reduced physical activity. There is no cure and treatments are aimed at keeping the patient content. From diagnosis to eventual death takes seven years on average.

Dementia is a mental disorder in which the patient develops confusion, irrational behaviour. inappropriate reactions, poor or jumbled speech patterns, hallucinations and loss of short term memory. It is a permanent condition and unfortunately there is no cure for most causes.

How can you minimise the risk of degeneration of your brain? The Alzheimer's institute has some recommendations for brain fitness. Their campaign is called "Mind Your Mind" and is based on research that shows adopting a 'brain healthy' lifestyle may reduce the risk of developing dementia.

The Mind Your Mind signposts are:
  1. Mind Your Brain
  2. Mind Your Diet
  3. Mind Your Body
  4. Mind Your Health Checks
  5. Mind Your Social Life
  6. Mind Your Habits
  7. Mind Your Head
A good way to exercise the Brain is to develop memory skills. Learn memory technqiues and challenge the brain each day. Crossword puzzles, word and puzzles, board games, thinking games like chess and Go.

Read more at the Alzheimers Australia web site where you can download posters and brochures.

Definitions from "The Complete Family Medical Guide" - Dr Warwick Carter - (c) 2003 Hinkle Books

1 comment:

  1. Hello Charles,

    in my personal opinion is Alzheimer one of the most tragic diseases in the world because it slowly eats away a persons personality.

    My grandfather died from it.