5/23/2015 0 Comments
Alpine Physical Therapist, Brace Hayden, DPT , with the help of his esteemed co-worker, MS Graduate Candidate in Exercise Physiology, Laura Porisch, had the chance to present at the annual conference for the joint Montana Geriatric Society and the Governor’s Council on Aging last week in Helena. This was a 3-day conference entitled “Insights into Alzheimer’s Disease” with a variety of speakers and panel discussions on the looming topic of how do we prepare for the silver tsunami of aging baby boomers…losing their mind, or at least a large part of their memory and cognitive function.
Startling epidemiology reports published in a 2014 Neurolology journal estimate that the size of the older population (over 65) will double over the next 25 years, growing to 70 million by 2030. The US could expect a 44 – 70% increase in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease, with an estimated 7.7 million people affected in the next 10-15 years. The growing prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease is estimated to soon affect every 1 in 8 Americans over 65 years old. Our fine state of Montana can expect an 81% increase in those affected by this neurological degeneration condition with numbers projected upwards of 29,000 in 2025.
Brace Hayden has a special interest in the Missoula community working with the often elderly population on balance, vestibular therapy (dizziness management) and the business of falls prevention. He jumped at the opportunity when asked to present at this statewide, multi-practitioner and lay public attended conference on the topic of “The Benefits of Physical Activity to Slow Cognitive Decline”, as fit/well-balanced seniors are near and dear to his PT heart. Preparing 110 slides over a 3 month period for a 90 minute presentation, on a topic he knew little about was his own dementia reduction physical exercise for the Spring.
The take-home message of the presentation was performing a routine cardiovascular exercise program 5 days per week for 20 – 60 minutes, has many “neuroprotective” health benefits. Increasing circulation and stimulation to your brain and body as you age not only can improve your chances of avoiding neurological illnesses like Alzheimer’s Disease, but it helps reduce many other health complications like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and strokes. So if you want to improve your chances of living a longer, healthier life, get out for some daily exercise. Your long-term physical, immune-system and cognitive health will benefit greatly.
For more information, visit our Vestibular and Balance at Alpine webpage by clicking here.
Walking is one thing. Walking and thinking is entirely another. In fact, doctors think they’ve discovered a rather simple way to early detect Alzheimer’s. That’s right. By watching you walk.
According to the new research, the way you walk can tell a lot about your cognitive function . . . slowed or altered gait, for instance. And by having you do some basic brain work while walking, such as counting backwards as you walk, it’s possible for the trained observer to pick up changes in your walking pattern. For some people that change could be easily screened to help figure out the presence and, to some extent, the severity of Alzheimer’s.
As one doctor put it, “It may be that the brain is already so compromised that it cannot coordinate its circuits to efficiently manage such “dual tasks.”
Notably, the worse the walking pattern, the worse the presence of Alzheimer’s.
For the rest of this informative article from the New York Times, click here.
To speak with one of our physical therapists, please call our offices at 251-2323 (south) or 541-2606 (north), or visit our website by clicking here.
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