Make the Commitment: Take Charge of your Brain Health



    Alzheimer Society encourages Canadians to reduce their risk

    TORONTO, Jan. 2 /CNW/ - This January, the Alzheimer Society is
challenging all Canadians, young and old, to make brain health a personal
commitment as it kicks off its nationwide awareness campaign, Heads Up for
Healthier Brains!
    "In 2007 we helped people make the connection between healthy living and
a healthy brain," says Scott Dudgeon, chief executive officer of the
Alzheimer Society of Canada. "Now we are asking Canadians to make the
commitment to do the things that will help keep their brains healthy, things
that can also help to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease."
    Making the commitment is easy. It can involve the entire family, and
include activities such as challenging your brain, being socially active,
choosing a healthy lifestyle, and protecting your head from injury. It is
never too soon, or too late, to make changes that will maintain or improve
your brain health. For people already living with Alzheimer's disease, these
kinds of activities go a long way in improving quality of life, as well as
delaying the progression of the disease.
    "Across the globe, top scientists are continuing to focus their efforts
on the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, and much of this research is
happening right here in Canada," says Dr. Jack Diamond, scientific director of
the Alzheimer Society of Canada. "In just the last year we have learned so
much more about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and the need to keep
your brain active."
    The Alzheimer Society is making its own commitment to helping Canadians
improve their brain health with the launch of BrainBooster, an online gym of
challenging games and puzzles designed to increase mental performance. The gym
also features brain boosting recipes and simple exercises to get people
moving. Canadians can access the gym by visiting www.alzheimer.ca. Once there,
they can also sign up with their personal 'brain' pledge and enter our Puzzled
about Alzheimer's Contest, showcased in the Feb/Mar issue of Homemakers and
Madame magazines, as well as their online sites.

    Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disorder that
destroys vital brain cells. Alzheimer's and related diseases affect an
estimated 1 in 13 Canadians over the age of 65, or approximately 450,000
people. If a cure is not found, it is estimated that 750,000 Canadians will
have Alzheimer's or a related disease by the year 2031.

    The Alzheimer Society is a nationwide, not-for-profit health organization
dedicated to helping people affected by Alzheimer's disease. The Society is a
leading funder of Alzheimer research and training in Canada, and develops and
provides support and educational programs for people with the disease, their
families and their caregivers.

    The 2008 Awareness Campaign was made possible in part through the
generosity of the following sponsors: Pfizer Canada Inc., Lundbeck Canada
Inc., BMO Financial Group, Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy and support in-kind was
provided by Transcontinental Media and Burnbrae Farms Ltd.





For further information:

For further information: Patricia Wilkinson, Manager, Media Relations
and Communications, Alzheimer Society of Canada, Office: 1-800-616-8816 or
(416) 847-2959, Mobile: (416) 669-5715, pwilkinson@alzheimer.ca,
www.alzheimer.ca


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