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World Alzheimer’s Month

September is a good month to think about healthy aging – it’s both Healthy Aging Month and World Alzheimer’s Month. And as Wisconsinites, it’s a good idea to think about healthy aging year-round. While millennials (anyone born after 1980) outnumber baby boomers nationwide, Wisconsin is one of a few states that have more baby boomers than millennials.  And according to an article from Wisconsin Public Radio, “new data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows the population of Wisconsinites over the age of 55 has grown nearly 15 percent since the last U.S. census, and experts say Wisconsin is on track to continue aging faster than most of the nation.”

Marcia Isherwood, RN, a nurse partner with WWHF's GrapeVine Project, teaches a session on the Healthy Aging Brain to almost 150 retirees at the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee,

Marcia Isherwood, RN, a nurse partner with WWHF’s GrapeVine Project, teaches a session on the Healthy Aging Brain to almost 150 retirees at the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee.

The good news is that researchers continue to make leaps and bounds in research on the aging brain. From Health Day: “New cutting-edge technology reveals that as you age, your brain becomes less and less capable of flushing away a toxic waste product of brain activity called beta-amyloid, the researchers said. Beta-amyloid proteins can clump together, forming larger amyloid plaques in the spaces between neurons. These amyloid plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.”  You can read more from that article here.

Another recent article explores new insight into why people with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. “People with type 2 diabetes may be more prone to developing the brain “tangles” associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests. The study found that people with type 2 diabetes had a greater accumulation of brain tangles — even if they were free of dementia or milder problems with memory and thinking.”

For more information, visit the new Aging.Gov website, inaugurated at the White House Conference on Aging in July. The conference, held every ten years since President Eisenhower hosted the first Conference on Aging in 1961, brought together the country’s leaders in healthy aging to discuss what the next decade holds for older Americans. Or visit Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services Aging and Disability Resource Center for local resources, statistics, and information.

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