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June Is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

Thirty years ago, neurologists diagnosed dementia or Alzheimer's disease for anyone exhibiting signs of severe memory loss. Today, with more precise and diagnostic tools, neurologists can distinguish between different types of dementia whether vascular, frontotemporal, or Lewy body—and prescribe treatments accordingly. Read about other advances in diagnosing and treating dementia and Alzheimer's disease and what neurologists think the future holds here. Learn more about the basics of Alzheimer's disease here.

Smart Ways to Stress Less

Stress is bad for the brain, especially if you have a neurologic condition. Studies show it can exacerbate symptoms and may even increase disease activity. It's impossible to rid your life of stress but you can minimize its negative effects. Experts say getting regular exercise and adequate sleep can help as can as activities such as meditation and mindfulness—being more attentive, present, and engaged in each moment. Read more about the connection between stress and brain health, including more tips for de-compressing, here.

Strengthen Social Ties

There are many risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, some of which you can control and others you cannot. One that is particularly intriguing to researchers is social isolation. People who spend a lot of time alone may be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than those who are more social. Fostering social ties, experts say, may be more important than ever. Not only do social relationships enhance quality of life, but evidence suggests that maintaining connections with others may help delay cognitive decline and even stall its progression once it sets in. Learn how to build and maintain your own social network here.

Get Moving

Exercise is good for everyone, but that doesn't make it any easier to do. Most of us struggle to get started and stay motivated. That struggle is compounded for people with neurologic conditions who may need special equipment, customized facilities, and trained therapists. Given those challenges, it's no surprise that people with neurologic conditions tend to be more sedentary, which increases their risk of heart disease and diabetes. To help you get motivated to be more active, read our expert tips and strategies here.

Living with Early-Stage Alzheimer's

A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is devastating at any age, but those who are diagnosed in their 40s and 50s—about half of all Alzheimer's cases—face special challenges. To accommodate those particular needs, many social services and support groups have cropped up to help patients and their families and caregivers. Learn more about what life is like for these people here.

Resource Central
HELP FOR ALL NEUROLOGIC DISORDERS

American Academy of Neurology website
aan.com/patients
1-800-879-1960

CaringBridge® (free, personalized Web sites to support your health journey)
Caringbridge.org
651-452-7940

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
ninds.nih.gov

NINDS Clinical Trial Finder
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/clinicaltrials_us.htm

Well Spouse Association
wellspouse.org
1-800-838-0879

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The Basics

Neurology Now Basics provide key information on individual neurologic conditions, including what causes each condition, how common it is, how it is diagnosed and treated, and what research is being conducted.

Editor-in-Chief:
Orly Avitzur, MD, MBA, FAAN
New York Medical College

ISSN: 1553-3271

Online ISSN: 1553-328X

Frequency: 6 issues a year

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Monthly insights and advice from a stroke specialist, a movement disorder expert, and a neuromuscular physician.

Latest Entry: 7/21/2016 Don’t Ignore Depression in Parkinson’s Disease

Caregivers' Corner

Resources for Caregivers

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Enjoy essays and poetry by people living with neurologic disorders and their caregivers. Readers can also find letters to the editor.

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Latest Entry: 7/15/2016 Neurologists Like Me

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For info on symptoms, diagnosis, & treatment of Pompe disease, see the Pompe Disease Awareness Resource.