Dr. A: You really have to do brain games. Do a lot of reading, puzzles, math problems, etc. In this population that we have right now, with sedentary lifestyles, poor heath habits, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc., we are seeing an increase in incidences of Alzheimer's. In 2018, there were 5.7 million people in the US with Alzheimer's disease. That's almost 2% of the population. The lifetime cost is about $300,000 to $400,000 just to treat one person. In the African-American & Hispanic community, we are more likely to develop Alzheimer's. Twice as likely for African-Americans & 1.5% likely for Hispanics. Why? It could be the environment, the food, lack of exercise, etc.
Dr. A: Aerobic exercise lets the blood flow throughout the brain & the body.
It gives blood to the brain and as your brain is bathed in all the nutrients, it sustains itself a little longer.
Dr. A: Antioxidants break-up the free radicals that float around through your body. Those free radicals are what kills the cells in your brain and the rest of your body too. If you get rid of those, you decrease your risk. Medicine is all about mitigating risk.
If you change your lifestyle when you're younger, by the time that you get 65 or older, you may have modified your risk, so that all these things don't happen to you later on.
'Well, I've been smoking for years, I'm going to keep on smoking.'
If you stop smoking today, it will absolutely elongate your life. So just because you've been doing something, doesn't been that you should continue.
Dr. A: Two-thirds of Alzheimer patients are women and the majority of caregivers for Alzheimer patients are women. If you have sons and daughters, it will more likely be the daughter that takes care of the family member. Most of the time, we (as caregivers), are our own worst enemies. It's not about you. It's about the patient. Caregivers have high rates of depression. They have poor access to health care for themselves because they are so busy taking care of their loved one.
you can't take care of anybody else.
There are tons of community resources. Every state has a council on aging that can assist. In the African-American community, we have a lot of pride in the fact that we take care of our own but at the same time, we don't reach out to others and we suffer the consequences too. So, even though we feel great about taking care of mom & dad, at the same time it's hurting us and that leads to poor outcomes. It's okay to say that you need help. Most of the time, we're suffering silently.
Dr. A: A tumor is mostly solid tissue & a cyst is more fluid-filled.
Can a cyst turn into a tumor? Yes, especially if there are any other types of cells that come into it and also how long they last.
Dr. A: If you've already been evaluated by one doctor and want more advice,
see a neurosurgeon or neurologist because that's their field.