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hapwise on HAP
LiveWell: Mid-Life
4
Could This Be the Secret to
Preventing Alzheimer’s?
Doctors may not know what
causes Alzheimer’s disease,
but they’re getting closer
to understanding how to
prevent it.
And the key might be …
ballroom dancing! Really?
“Well, that could be part
of it,” laughs Khaled Imam,
M.D., director of Geriatric
Medicine at Beaumont
Hospitals.
Alzheimer’s – the most common form of dementia – causes
diminished memory, thinking and behavior. It remains a
devastating mystery for families across the globe.
“Fortunately, we’re learning more about how to prevent the
onset of Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Imam. “As Baby Boomers
reach retirement age, they can reduce their risk by staying
physically and mentally active. Couch potatoes have a
higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s.”
So, what can you do? Dr. Imam ofers several tips:
Stay active through walking, running, biking, tennis
or another physically challenging hobby.
Follow a diet low in saturated fats and high in fruits
and vegetables.
Keep your mind active through reading, studying
and enjoying crossword and Sudoku puzzles.
Stimulate your mind by maintaining an active
social life.
Khaled Imam, M.D.
“If you’re reading a book, let’s discuss it. If you watch a
movie, let’s critique it. Use your brain whenever you can,”
says Dr. Imam. “You have billions of brain cells, and when
you think, they become active. If you don’t use your
muscles, they become weak. Likewise, if you don’t use your
brain cells, they’re going to become weak too.”
Research suggests that eating a diet rich in dark-skinned
vegetables and fruits, which contain antioxidants, may
help protect your brain cells. Such foods include spinach,
broccoli, brussel sprouts, eggplant, blueberries, oranges,
red grapes and cherries, just to name a few.
But while you’re watching your diet and staying active,
don’t forget to have fun.
“I love to recommend ballroom dancing,” says Dr. Imam. “It
works your body physically and mentally. You have to think
about the steps you’re about to make. It’s especially good
for group dancing and couples because you get the social
interaction. It’s great because you’re moving, memorizing
steps, and all the while you’re helping to protect yourself
against a devastating disease.”
Who knew preventing Alzheimer’s
could be so much fun?