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Testing, prevention recommended during Alzheimer's Awareness Month

Category: DNA, Paternity and Genetic testing

The Arbor Company, a service that provides housing and care to seniors in six states, is recognizing November as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, to offer advice on preventing the disease and to show understanding and support for individuals who live with the condition and their families.

According to Arbor Company representatives, an American is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease - a gradual loss of brain cells - every 70 seconds.

Citing studies which determined that "brain exercise" reduces a senior's risk of developing dementia by up to 63 percent, the organization seeks to clarify the steps people can take to reduce risk of developing the condition.

"Exercise is key, and isn't just for keeping the body in shape. It's also exercise for the brain," said Teepa Snow, an expert in geriatrics and consultant for memory care programs at the Arbor Company. "It is never too late to start these practices."

Other preventative measures include engaging creative activities such as crossword puzzles or creative writing, maintaining friendships and eating foods high in antioxidants.

According to the National Institutes of Health, cognitive tests are available to help diagnose Alzheimer's disease; some patients who show no symptoms of the disease opt to take a genetic test to confirm or deny the presence of the high-risk Alzheimer's gene.

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