Get that brain active and help prevent dementia

Published: Mon 15 Mar 2010 01:40 PM
Get that brain active and help prevent dementia
Let’s face it, dementia is scary: there is no cure and the number of people with the disease is doubling every 20 years. Each year over 12,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with the disease and some of these people are as young as 40.
Dementia is a group of diseases which cause brain cells to gradually die, resulting in changes to memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
It’s not all bad news though. There are ways you can protect your brain and body to lessen your chances of developing dementia.
To celebrate Brain Week, which runs from 15 to 21 March, Alzheimers New Zealand wants you to know the four main things you can do to help prevent dementia:
1. Train your brain
Do crosswords, Sudoku and brain teasers and play card games. All these activities can lessen your risk of developing dementia and keep your brain sharp!
2. Get social
Studies show socially active people are less likely to get dementia. Make a coffee date with a friend, jump on Facebook to connect with friends or get involved in a new hobby group
3. Get fit
Exercise is not only good for your body, but for your brain too. It has been proven to better both your cognitive function and your mental health
4. Eat well
Snack on ‘brain foods’ such as omegas 3 and 6. These include fish, nuts, vegetables, olive oil and garlic
The Neurological Foundation has daily brain exercises available on its website during Brain Week. Check out for more information. Part of Alzheimers New Zealand’s mission to help make life better for all people affected by dementia is helping New Zealanders understand how you can make lifestyle choices to assist in preventing the disease. So to celebrate Brain Week, get some good friends together to go for a brisk walk or a jog and finish it up with a healthy meal and a game of Bridge. Then make sure you keep it up!
Alzheimers New Zealand’s local organisations also provide, support and education. To get in touch, please call 0800 004 001.

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