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#VBGIVESBACK

In Support of The Women's Alzheimer's Movement

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Thank you to everyone who joined us in support of The Women's Alzheimer's Movement at our VB stores yesterday! We will be donating 10% of all in-store sales to the organization, which was founded by journalist and former First Lady of California, Maria Shriver. It's a cause that hits particularly close to home—not only was her father diagnosed with the disease, but Shriver was a key contributor to a groundbreaking report that, in 2010, made the shocking discovery that women have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. WAM's mission is to change that trajectory, by funding women-based Alzheimer’s research—once and for all. "Women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis," says Shriver, our event host at VB Palisades. "That's why we must be at the heart of the solution." 

From left: Veronica Swanson Beard, Maria Shriver and Veronica Miele Beard at VB Palisades

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5 Fast Facts

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1. Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s. Right now, an estimated 6 million Americans live with the disease.

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2. Alzheimer’s begins to develop in the brain 20-30 years before diagnosis. Two-thirds of those diagnosed are women—and no one knows why.

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3. A woman in her 60s is twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s over the course of her lifetime than breast cancer.

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4. There is no treatment or cure. Of the top 10 causes of death in America, it is the only disease without any effective drug or course of action.

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5. If Alzheimer’s runs in your family that does not necessarily mean you will get it. But, on the flip side, you are still at risk, even if it does not run in your family. 

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8 Things You Can Do

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1. Watch out for the signs. They include difficulty completing familiar tasks, new problems with speaking or writing, and trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. For the full list, click here

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2. Exercise! No surprise here—exercise helps improve blood flow to the brain, releases hormones that make you feel good, and stimulates growth factor to help create new neurons and synapses in your brain. WAM recommends mixing it up with a combo of aerobic exercise and weight/resistance training. 

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3. Eat colorfully. Foods that come in red, blue, purple, yellow, green and orange contain the vitamins and anti-oxidants necessary to keep your brain, vision and immune system healthy. Also, resist the midnight call of the kitchen and fast 12-14 hours between dinner and breakfast—studies show it will improve insulin sensitivity, a key to brain health.

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4. Hit the crosswords. No, really. Research shows that playing games can improve your your cognitive skills and strengthen existing neural pathways.

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“Women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis. That’s why we must be at the heart of the solution.” — Maria Shriver

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5. Take a break from multi-tasking. By focusing on too many things at once, you are compromising your ability to store information over short periods of time. Try performing tasks sequentially. 

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6. Create a sleep sanctuary! Ditch the devices, especially those emitting blue light—like, ahem, your smartphone—which can lead to a quicker decline in cognitive function and an earlier Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Turn down the thermostat—your body needs to cool down in order to sleep. And turn off the lights—otherwise, you'll suppress melatonin. 

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7. DRINK WATER—eight 8 oz. cups per day. But you’re already doing that… right? 

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8. Last but not least—laugh. Or better yet, make someone else laugh. Studies have shown that humor can relieve stress, help stimulate your immune system and even reduce pain. For tips on how to inject some humor into the workplace, check out our post on Humor, Seriously here

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