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Expert offers tips on fighting Alzheimer's

LAWRENCEVILLE — More than 14 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's Disease, an incurable, degenerative and terminal illness.

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, acknowledging progress made against the disease and showing understanding and support for sufferers and their families.

The Arbor Group, which operates a senior assisted living home in south Gwinnett, offers tips for fighting Alzheimer's and support groups.

"This awareness month is the ideal opportunity to recognize that while there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, there are steps one can take to potentially reduce the risk of developing it," said Teepa Snow, a memory care programs consultant.

"Exercise is the key. And exercise isn't just for keeping the body in shape, it's also exercise for the brain. And it's never too late to start these practices."

Snow recommends:

• Keeping the brain active. Engage in activities such as card games, crossword puzzles and creative writing;

• Staying physically fit by jogging, dancing, playing video games or working in your garden;

• Reducing stress by maintaining friendships, attending cultural activities and traveling; and

• Adopting a healthy heart diet of foods high in antioxidants such as spinach, broccoli, corn, raisins, blueberries and almonds.

Snow said there are no guarantees that these activities will prevent Alzheimer's but they have proven beneficial.

"The key is to engage your body," Snow said.

Arbor Terrace of Tucker offers an Alzheimer's support group on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. The meetings are open to the public and provide an opportunity for family members, friends and caregivers to meet for emotional support and information.

Arbor Terrace is located at 5844 Lawrenceville Highway N.W., Tucker.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP at 770-925-9170.