Lifestyle habits matter when it comes to brain health, and the rewards of increased mental stimulation can be seen in a very short space of time Sharon, a 46-year-old single mother of three teenagers, came to see me about her increasing forgetfulness. Working full-time and managing her household was becoming overwhelming for her, and she was misplacing lunchboxes, missing appointments and having trouble focusing her attention. She was worried because her grandmother got Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 79, and Sharon felt she might be getting it too – just a lot younger. I said it was highly unlikely that Sharon was suffering from early-onset dementia, but I agreed to evaluate her. Whenever I consult with people about their middle-aged pauses, I first check for physical conditions or medication side-effects that might be affecting their brain health. Left untreated, high cholesterol, hypertension and other age-related illnesses can worsen memory, increase the risk of dementia, and shorten life expectancy. I also review their daily lifestyle habits to see if there are any areas they can improve to boost their brain health.
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