Brain health up to all of us

Baby boomers in the Alberni Valley, like their counterparts around the rest of the country, have a troubling lack of awareness about Alzheimer disease, according to a new online survey.

Baby boomers in the Alberni Valley, like their counterparts around the rest of the country, have a troubling lack of awareness about Alzheimer disease, according to a new online survey.

Almost one-quarter of B.C. baby boomers can’t name any of the early signs of Alzheimer’s, which is worrisome because the risk level for boomers doubles every five years after age 65.

Loss of memory is the obvious one. But hallucinations, sudden changes in personality, odd behaviour and complete dependency on others are also signs.

Perhaps most troubling, says Jane Hope of the Alzheimer Society of B.C., is that respondents to a national survey could not identify controllable risk factors: obesity, diabetes, heart disease and chronic depression.

While Alzheimer’s is known as an “old person’s disease”, it can strike people as early as age 40. Changes in the brain can begin to appear decades before diagnosis. Yet because of the nature of dementia, people are reluctant to talk about it.

It is up to all of us to take responsibility for our own brain health.

Currently there are no known cure for diseases like Alzheimer’s or different types of dementia, but studies show that lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk and slow progression of the disease.

Some of these changes are remarkably simple: eat a balanced diet. Exercise regularly. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check. Engage in social and challenging activities—many people choose puzzles such as crosswords or video games to keep themselves challenged.

Most importantly, educate yourself.

Just Posted

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Sproat Ness Dragons win dragon boat bronze in Nanaimo

First year for Port Alberni dragon boating team

Celebrate Port Alberni’s heroes with Our Town

Next evening celebration takes place at Gyro Rec Park

One hurt in Gertrude Street Bridge accident

Driver suffers medical emergency in Port Alberni crash

Motorcyclist caught driving 117 km/h on Beaver Creek Road

Port Alberni man was driving in a posted 50 km/h zone

VIDEO: Sproat Lake hosts annual regatta

2018 Alberni Valley event featured two days of boat racing action

Trudeau blasts Putin, Russia following Finland summit but stays mum on Trump

Strong words come one day after a controversial summit between Putin and Trump in Finland

Temperature records break across southern B.C. as heat continues

Whistler broke a 70-year-old record high of 32.2 C with a temperature of 32.9 C

Hawaii volcano boat tours continue after ‘lava bomb’ injuries

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers.”

Trump returns from summit with Putin to forceful criticism

“Shameful,” ”disgraceful,” ”weak,” were a few of the comments. Makes the U.S. “look like a pushover,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Obama to deliver Mandela address in likely rebuke to Trump

Former U.S. President Barack Obama Monday praised Kenya’s president and opposition leader for working together but said this East African country must do more to end corruption.

Missing B.C. Serval cat creates buzz online, pleas for help

Aquila, an African Serval, disappeared from a Fernie, B.C. backyard sometime on Friday, July 13.

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

Most Read