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I N T E RV I E W Can Increasing Mental and Physical Activity Help to Stave Off Cognitive Decline? The UCLA Alzheimer’s Prevention Project is seeking to determine What is significant about this study? whether or not a 12-week program of stress reduction coupled with For many years, I’ve researched, written and spoken about what we can do to keep our brains healthy, and now there is mounting scientific evidence that certain behaviors may actually stave off the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. They might not cure it, but the evidence suggests that it is possible to forestall symptoms. And if we can do that, it can make a significant impact on public health. increasing mental and physical activity and dietary guidance can improve cognitive abilities. The study builds on previous research indicating that modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease such as diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity are present in a large proportion of cases, along with evidence suggesting that consistently engaging in brain-healthy strategies could delay dementia symptoms. A research team led by Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Longevity Center, designed such a program for at-risk individuals between the ages of 60 and 78. A total of 200 participants will be recruited for a study of the program. Gary Small, MD UCLAHEALTH.ORG 1-800-UCLA-MD1 (1-800-825-2631) We know about the physical benefits of healthy diet and exercise, but is the idea here to see if they also improve brain health? When I see patients who are at risk, I always ask them, are you exercising? Are you eating right? Often the response is to ask if we have