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April 18, 2013 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-04-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

>> on the cover

Memory Loss

Keeping Alzheimer's
at bay through diet,
exercise and brain
stimulation.

I

Ruthan Brodsky

Special e Jewish News

.•

:4 11 ■ 1

- •

Micki Pelzner Lipshaw paints at the Brown Center as

her daughter Susan Stettner watches

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

The number of people with Alzheimer's
disease (AD) is expected to triple by 2050,
according to research based on U.S. Census
Bureau data. That means 14 million
Americans will be identified as having AD
in less than 40 years. These numbers are pri-
marily the result of greater longevity among
Baby Boomers.
Gary Small, M.D., described this trend as
"successful longevity" at the Novi Fox Run
campus in February when he spoke there
about his book, The Alzheimer's Prevention
Program (Workman Publishing, 2012).
"Prevention is not a cure Small
explained. "Prevention is using lifestyle
strategies that promote brain health that
are essential for quality longevity. Brain
health includes more than memory. If your
brain is healthy, you can think, make right
decisions, be physically healthy, maintain
your memory and stay focused. The preven-
tion program, described in the book, helps
people delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease
symptoms.
"Although there is no way to actually
prevent AD, it is possible to delay it and
increase the number of years without
dementia: Small said.
He says there is strong evidence that exer-
cise is the right lifestyle choice associated
with Alzheimer's prevention. A recent study
in the journal Neurology supports that the-
ory and suggests working out can be more

10 April 18 • 2013

Book Helps
Kids Cope With
Alzheimer's

Hugging Grandma, written by Zina

Kramer, was written to help families
explain memory disorders to chil-
dren. Kramer provides specific and
effective ways for children to main-
tain a relationship with their rela-
tive. For information, contact Nelson
Publishing & Marketing (www.
nelsonpublishingandmarketing.com ).
The book is illustrated for children.

Sylvia Perlman and her daughter Zina

Kramer, who found assistance for her

mother's Alzheimer's through the Jewish

community.

effective at protecting the brain than cogni-
tive challenges such as games and puzzles
(although they do have some benefit).
In the study, a group of
700 participants born in
1936, who participated in
physical activity, showed
less brain shrinkage
and fewer white matter
lesions, both of which can
be signs of AD, than the
group that didn't exercise.
Dr. Gary Small
The conclusion makes
sense because physical
activity helps promote a healthy heart, and

the well-being of the heart and brain are
interrelated. An unhealthy heart isn't as effi-
cient at pumping blood and oxygen, which
the brain requires.
One theory presented at the Alzheimer's
Association's International Conference in
July 2012 suggested that strength training
could be the best exercise intervention.
Another study showed that women between
ages 70 and 80 who used weights showed
the most improvement. In general, those
participants who started with a higher
cognitive baseline actually gained the most
benefits from exercise.
Another new study, published in the

Archives of Neurology, found that people
who kept their brains active most of their
lives by reading, writing, completing cross-
word puzzles or playing challenging games
were less likely to develop brain plaques
associated with AD. In other words, stimu-
lating your mind at an early age may do
more to help your brain than starting chess
once you retire. People in the study who
recently took up crossword puzzles did not
see added benefit.
Small feels strongly that we do have the
ability to influence our future brain health.
He writes that "science has shown that
genetics, our hereditary predisposition for
Alzheimer's disease, accounts for only part
of our risk. Lifestyle choices may have an
even greater impact. Therefore, we have
more control than we think:'

Diagnosing Dementia

"The word 'senility' simply means getting
older and does not have the same mean-
ing as the word dementia," explained
Rhonna Shatz, D.O., Clayton Alandt Chair of
Behavioral Neurology at Henry Ford Health
System. "Dementia is not inevitable as you
age.
"More frequently, there are abnormal
brain pathologies that take place in the brain
that indicate that a person may be at risk for
dementia: Shatz said. "Yet there are people
who live to an old age with a high burden
of these brain pathologies, enough to meet
pathologic criteria for Alzheimer's, who

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