Alzheimer's Disease ( AD) and this could increase to more than 14 million in the next few decades. A cure has not been found and so prevention is the next best thing. Such things as eating healthy and keeping your mind and body active are important.
According to a recent study from the American academy of Neurology, "people who kept active physically or mentally -through hobbies such as gardening, exercise, reading, painting, or playing board games - were less likely to develop AD later in life than those who engaged in "passive" activities, like watching television and attending church. "
Grandma Moses had it right. She took up painting at the age of 67 and continued it to her death at 101. Picasso also had a rather long and interesting life, as do many artists . Monet was both an avid artist and gardener that lived to a ripe old age.
I'm reading an interesting book by Dr. Gene Cohen, The Creative Age : Awakening Human Potential in the Second Half of Life. Dr. Cohen is a pioneer in studying the link between creativity and its effect on the way the human brain ages and this is his first book on the subject.
He and his researchers found marked improvement in the overall health of those who took part in intensive creative activities. It appears that such stimulation leads to a boost in the immune system.
I'm not advocating that you jump on a treadmill and do the New York Times crossword puzzle at the same time. Just get off the couch and do something creative would be a good start.
I think that this book will at least change some people's way of thinking about us old geezers. Used to be if an old person did something outstanding or even just okay folks would remark that they did it " despite their age. " Now maybe they'll realize they did it because of their age.
When the youngun's at the garden center offer to help me load up 50 lb. bags of mulch they look at me with astonishment when I reply " Not unless you're going with me and help me landscape. "