Battling Alzheimer’s Disease

Things you can do to improve your chances of not getting Alzheimer’s.

According to Dr. Maria Norton of Utah State University, there are at least 15 million people in the U. S. who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease, and someone develops AD every 68 seconds or roughly every minute of the day.

At a Seminar Dr. Norton recently presented in Idaho Falls, she indicated that we can improve our chances of not getting Alzheimer’s. Like many other health conditions, there are things we can change in our lives and things we cannot. For example we can’t control our increasing age, our genes or our family history of AD. However, we can control our knowledge of the subject, our nutrition, our exercise and our stress level, to name a few. Dr. Norton hypothesized that only 1/3 of the total Alzheimer’s risk factors come from genetics, leaving 2/3 that we can control.

According to Dr. Norton, there are six behavioral domains in which we can make wise choices each day that can decrease our likelihood of getting AD. They are the following:

  1. Healthy food choices
  2. Physical activity
  3. Stress management
  4. Cognitive / mental activities
  5. Social engagement
  6. Sleep quality

There is a new app called “Gray Matters, “The Alzheimer’s Prevention App”, to help remind us of the importance of doing the things we can control. Studies show that this smart phone app motivated better engagement in each of the six areas mentioned above by well over 50% in each domain. You can download the app and visit the demo at

Quality of life is so important. When trying to avoid a disease as devastating as Alzheimer’s, doing something is always better than doing nothing.

Tom Packer is an Elder Law Attorney serving all of Southeast Idaho. As part of his law practice, Tom offers Life Care Planning to deal with the challenges created by long-term illness, disability and incapacity. If you have a question about a Senior’s legal, financial or healthcare needs, please call us.