healthy elders

This June during Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, the Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota – North Dakota Chapter is encouraging everyone to take charge of their brain health.

Today, there are nearly 7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, including 102,000 Minnesotan and 13,700 North Dakotans. The lifetime risk for the disease at age 45 is 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 10 for men. The brain changes that because Alzheimer’s is thought to begin 20 years or more before symptoms start, which suggests that there may be a substantial window of time when individuals can intervene in the progression of the disease.

Experts believe there isn’t a single cause of Alzheimer’s, and that it likely develops as a result of multiple factors. Although some risk factors such as age cannot be changed, others may be modified to reduce a person’s risk.

This June, the Alzheimer’s Association is sharing five ways to take charge of your brain health:

  1. Incorporate healthy habits: Research shows that as many as 40% of dementia cases worldwide may be attributable to modifiable risk factors. The Alzheimer’s Association encourages individuals to incorporate 10 Healthy Habits to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and possibly dementia. These include keeping physically active, not smoking, challenging your mind, and watching your blood pressure and diet.
  2. Learn the early warning signs of dementia: Many people equate Alzheimer’s and other dementia only to memory loss, but there are other warning signs including altered judgment, mood changes, challenges in decision-making, and planning and carrying out projects. When these changes interfere with daily living or stray drastically from the person’s normal behavior, it’s best to get it checked. The Association offers 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s to help.
  3. Be proactive in addressing memory and thinking problems: A 2022 report found that 60% of U.S. adults say they would not see a doctor right away if they were experiencing symptoms of memory loss. However, early detection and diagnosis offer the best opportunity for care, time to plan for the future or participate in clinical trials, and to live a high quality of life as long as possible. There are also new treatments that may slow disease progression for people in the early stage of Alzheimer’s, making a timely diagnosis critical.
  4. Help accelerate disease-related research: Individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, caregivers and healthy volunteers are needed to participate in clinical trials to advance research. Approximately 55,000 volunteers are needed for more than 180 clinical trials. The Alzheimer’s Association’s TrialMatch® is a free service that connects individuals with appropriate trials.
  5. Volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association: Volunteers are the key to making a difference in the lives of people facing Alzheimer’s and dementia. Anyone can volunteer to join a network of people who are fighting the devastating disease, honor loved ones, and bring support to those who need it.

During Alzheimer’s Brain Awareness Month (ABAM), community members are joining the fight against Alzheimer’s and dementia by creating their own events to honor loved ones and support the programs and research of the Alzheimer’s Association as part of the Association’s The Longest Day activities. Many of these events are open to the public with details on how to attend at

About Alzheimer’s Brain Awareness Month
Established by the Alzheimer’s Association in 2014, Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month is dedicated to encouraging a global conversation about the brain and Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia The Association encourages supporters to wear purple in June and to create Longest Day events to support families impacted by the disease. Learn more at

About the Alzheimer’s Association MN – ND Chapter. The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit or call the 24/7 Helpline 800/272-3900 for support.

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