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

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Uchucklesaht Tribe purchases former Redford School

Property will be a “multi-use building” similar to The Thunderbird

Merry Makers create new craft fair for Port Alberni

Hansen Hall fair begins as Work of Heart organizers retire

Port Alberni highland dancers invited to North American competition

Kali Nahorney received honourable mention medals in two categories

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Judge rules against ALC on rural B.C. subdivision

The ALC can’t change the definition of an acre, the judge ruled.

John Horgan shrugs off low turnout, change to referendum option

‘No’ proportional representation group says voting should be extended

Two more government pot shops to open in Kamloops

Two private applications are also in the queue to come before city council by the end of the year

Most Read