“Alzheimer’s Disease is actually a mid-life disease with later life consequences. In fact, people that are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease likely have already had the disease for ten to fifteen years before the diagnosis is given.” Dr. Stephen Gemmell is the director of the Memory Disorders Center at Washington Regional, he sees patients suffering from memory problems including Alzheimer’s.

“People oftentimes think that they don’t need to worry about Alzheimer’s Disease until they are in their 70’s or 80’s, but in fact, we need people to start to focus on prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease when they’re in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Modifiable risk factors, things that we can control, really will go a long way at minimizing our risk of getting the disease and if we are going to get the disease, actually slow the progression.”

Improving these things can lower your chance of getting Alzheimer’s Disease.

  • Exercise
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Sleep
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

“When people exercise they release a protein in their brain. That protein actually helps grow brain cells and strengthen the brain cells that they already have. This event actually helps preserve brain function and not only decreases the risk of neurodegenerative disease but also maintain a healthy brain with aging.”

“What the research has found is if we control those activities and we improve upon those areas, you’re going to see less people with Alzheimer’s Disease in the coming years.”

Dr. Gemmell recommends if anyone is concerned about their memory to have it checked out by a professional. ” The Memory Center is an interdisciplinary team here at Washington Regional. Oftentimes doctors will refer their patients to us. Patients can also self refer. “

To make an appointment with the Memory Disorders Center call 479-463-4444 Option #3.

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