“Deceptively simple, research-backed health strategies that won’t hurt — and may even help.”
by Corey Pikul
“You can’t take a pill to cure Alzheimer’s. But there are plenty of things you can do to protect your brain from the disease and its effects. The advice sounds deceptively simple — so much so that it’s easy to dismiss it. But a recent large-scale two-year study in Finland showed that so-called lifestyle interventions, such as physical activity and social interactions, had a protective effect on cognitive function.
“A related project is underway here — it’s called the US Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (POINTER) and it, too, will assess whether taking specific steps to improve aspects of our health can protect memory and thinking as we age. “This is the first study of its kind to test the effect of these modifications on a large and diverse population in the US,” says Heather M. Snyder, head of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer’s Association, which is organizing the study. Participants are being recruited at five national sites (one of the locations is Rhode Island; to see if you’re a candidate, go to alz.org/us-pointer). The plan is to have results and recommendations in roughly three years. In the meantime, adopting these research-backed brain-health strategies certainly won’t hurt — and may even help. Here’s what to do and why to do it.”