Can Computer programs help prevent Alzheimer's Disease?

06/15/2009 - Questions and Answers

Can Computer programs help prevent Alzheimer's Disease?

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Question

My mother died of Alzheimer's when she was 80. I've read about those computer programs you can buy to stop you getting Alzheimer's disease.

They are quite expensive. Do you think I should get one?
 

Answer

It is understandable that you are concerned about Alzheimer's, as there is a higher risk when there is a genetic factor, such as a parent or sibling who has suffered the disease. It's common knowledge that a proper exercise regimen can do wonders for the body. Only recently, however, have psychologists and gerontologists aggressively applied the same principle to the mind. Among people who work with older adults, the concept of "cognitive fitness" has become a buzzword to describe activities that stimulate underutilized areas of the brain and improve memory. Proponents of brain-fitness exercises say such mental conditioning can help prevent or delay memory loss and the onset of other age-related cognitive disorders. There are a growing number of programs that work with older adults to improve cognitive abilities. Activities include computer programs designed to stimulate specific areas of the brain. These programs are a replication of geometric designs using boards with pegs and rubber bands, and visual and auditory memory exercises.
 

You ask whether you should obtain such a computer program? The decision is one you must make yourself, but, as you say, they are quite expensive and there are alternatives. The best thing one can do regarding self help is to live a healthy lifestyle by eating low fat high fibre heart healthy food, keep cholesterol levels down, have regular exercise, no smoking, enjoy the pleasure of friendship and keep your mind stimulated, and an alert interest in things around you. Other suggestions are to take a few classes where you meet others with the same interests, read books, travel, volunteer, or even get a part-time job. Any, or all, of these activities keep life interesting and challenging, as well as fun. We wish you all the best. Live life and enjoy.
 

Related Links
Leisure Activities Help the Brain Stay Sharp
Brain Workouts May Tone Memory
Make brain-healthy life choices
Physical Fitness Can Fight Off Dementia
Preventing Alzheimer's Disease

Created on: 09/04/2006
Reviewed on: 06/15/2009

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