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Doctors and researchers encourage people to be mindful of their brain health

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) – Alzheimer’s and Dementia affect millions of people worldwide. Changes in the brains of people with the disease can start decades before the person actually experiences symptoms, that’s according to the AHEAD Study.

With June being Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month, doctors and researchers of the AHEAD study are urging people to be conscious about their health and their loved ones.

Doctor Josh Grill, a University of California Irvine professor, shares tips to improve and become mindful of your brain health.

He said taking part in physical exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting a good night’s sleep and keeping up a healthy heart are all important to caring for your brain.

Dr. Grill said taking steps are beneficial for everyone. However, he unfortunately adds that for some who do everything right when it comes to brain health, they can still be at risk as they get older.

He emphasizes this is why it is crucial to think ahead.

“As a society we need to better at creating a dementia friendly society,” Dr. Grill said. “About talking about Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of cognitive problems with age and I think as you point out, family gatherings are a great time to talk about grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, whatever the case.”

Dr. Grill explains that the AHEAD study aims to prevent Alzheimer’s disease by trying to change how the disease is treated and how people think about it. He said the goal is to intervene at the earliest possible stages before the memory problems even begin.

To be in the AHEAD study, Dr. Grill said the person must undergo tests beginning with the blood tests and a brain scan that tries to detect if the changes in the brain of Alzheimer’s may have begun. Only if those changes are observed in the brain if a person is an increased risk of a someday memory problem, are they eligible to be in the AHEAD study. He explains that in the AHEAD study, they are testing an aggressive treatment that they believe is quite promising that tries to counteract those biological changes and reduce that risk, delay or perhaps prevent the onset of memory problems.

Click here to read more about the AHEAD study and what they do.

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