Turning the tide of dementia, hope is in prevention, research

This Brain Awareness Week, Canadians urged to take control and protect their own health

TORONTO, March 15 /CNW/ - With the prevalence of dementia expected to reach 1.1 million Canadians within a generation, taking care of your brain health has never been more important.

This Brain Awareness Week, March 15 to 21, the Alzheimer Society is calling on Canadians coast to coast to take action today. This means doing everything you can to reduce your risk of developing dementia, including adopting a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, staying mentally and socially active, and protecting your head from injury.

"If nothing changes, by 2038 there will be a new case of dementia in Canada every two minutes," says Dr. Jack Diamond, Scientific Director for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. "We may not be able to control all the risk factors, but more and more, research is telling us that a healthy diet, modest exercise, and ongoing mental stimulation, can provide significant protection for our brains, and reduce the risk of developing dementia."

According to the Alzheimer Society's new study, Rising Tide: The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society, risk reduction is also key to lessening the social and economic impacts of dementia.

"The research in Rising Tide tells us that exercise, along with other risk reduction strategies, is one of the most promising ways to reduce the massive $872 billion dementia is expected to cost Canadians over the next 30 years," says Kelly Duffin, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

A further investment into research is also critical if we are to turn the tide of dementia. This includes research into learning more about the benefits of prevention as well as to find more effective treatments and eventually a cure.

This Brain Awareness Week - the Alzheimer Society invites media to interview leading dementia experts in the field of prevention and risk reduction to help Canadians learn about achieving good brain health. For more information, please contact Patricia Wilkinson at 416-669-5715.

About Brain Awareness Week

Brain Awareness Week is an international campaign, coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Brain Awareness Week is a unique international partnership of more than 2,100 organizations in 69 countries, and is celebrating its 15th anniversary campaign in 2010.

About the Alzheimer Society

The Alzheimer Society is the leading, nationwide health organization for people affected by dementia in Canada. The Society is a principal funder of Alzheimer research and training, provides enhanced care and support to people with the disease, their families and their caregivers, and is a prominent voice within all levels of government. Active in more than 140 communities across Canada, the Society is also a key player in Alzheimer's Disease International, an organization at the forefront of world wide efforts to fight dementia. For more information, please visit www.alzheimer.ca.

SOURCE Alzheimer Society of Canada

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

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