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Cognitive Vitality & Online Resources

Cognitive Vitality & Online Resources

April 16, 2014

Though doctors and scientists haven’t discovered a surefire way to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, there are steps you can take to reduce risks before Alzheimer care is necessary. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation launched a new online resource to guide aging people through scientific research and preventative measures pertaining to Alzheimer’s called Cognitive Vitality.

Cognitive Vitality, the ADDF sponsored program, has four main sections: First steps to prevention; health management and drugs; nutrition, natural products and supplements; and an evidence guide. Its purpose is to encourage informed decisions as baby-boomers look for ways to prevent what they have seen loved ones endure. However, it is made clear that none of Cognitive Vitality’s information should be taken as official medical advice.

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The lifestyle changes that you can make to protect cognitive function are described through the acronym VITALIZE. The suggestions are supported by the National Institute on Aging section of the National Institutes of Health webpage on preventing Alzheimer’s. These include regular exercise, a healthy diet including vegetables, mental health treatment, commitment to responsibly managing current medical issues and sleeping well. Maintaining a low stress level and remaining mentally engaged are also recommended by both organizations.

According to Penny Dacks, an assistant director for ADDF, people often seek out supplements or alternative medicine without knowledge of what is effective or safe. On the site, there is a list of 15 vitamins and supplements with comprehensive breakdowns based on topics such as studies that have focused on specific products, where they can be found and the references used to compile the fact sheets. The evidence guide is a collection of studies and research that pertains to dementia prevention with explanations that are understandable to people outside of the medical realm, including a color-rating system to make comprehension easier. The site is in its infancy, but it provides a wealth of information vital for seniors who wish to boost their memory skills, such as those who currently reside in active retirement communities.


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