Brain Health Academy Will Offer Wellness Guidance to Professionals

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by Somi Igbene, PhD |

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UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is preparing to launch free online courses — The Brain Health Academy — teaching health and wellness professionals how to help people reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Developed in partnership with the American Heart Association, The American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the six-part course series will equip healthcare professionals with the necessary information and resources to help the public understand how lifestyle choices affect brain health.

“Healthcare providers sometimes tell us that they don’t know what to tell their patients about Alzheimer’s. They should tell their patients how to reduce their risks because the only thing better than finding a cure for Alzheimer’s is preventing it in the first place. The Brain Health Academy helps them learn how to have those conversations,” Russ Paulsen, CEO of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, said in a press release.

The Brain Health Academy launches June 15. Interested professionals can enroll or learn more on UsAgainstAlzheimer’s website.

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Approximately 6.2 million people in the United States live with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive brain illness that gradually destroys memories and thinking skills. It can begin up to 20 years before symptoms start. Although the exact triggers of Alzheimer’s are still unknown, researchers believe lifestyle factors, including smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and diet, can increase the risk.

The Brain Health Academy includes six one-hour courses on nutrition, sleep, social isolation and loneliness, physical inactivity and hypertension, factors that can help people reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s and related dementias if addressed. Notably, the course includes culturally relevant strategies for preventing Alzheimer’s in disproportionately affected populations such as African American and Latino communities.

The courses will be based on the latest research and taught by experts in each field. They will also include practical implementation strategies such as validated screening tools, clinical guidance, and downloadable patient education resources.

All courses will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing for 60 days after the live presentation. Participants who complete the coursework will receive continuing education credits from the American Society on Aging (ASA).

“We are learning that approximately 1 in 2 adults will die with or from dementia. We are an aging society, and brain health impacts all of us. ASA is excited for this partnership to continue important conversations about driving better health for all of us,” Peter Kaldes, president and CEO of ASA, said.

The first course in the series, “Understanding Inequities in Alzheimer’s & Other Dementias,” will take place 1–2 p.m. EST June 15. The full course schedule is available here.