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Balancing Cutting-Edge Science and Conventional Dementia Treatment

Alzheimer’s disease is a social, medical, and economic crisis. The disease is pervasive in every country and is the largest impediment to independent living for older people. It affects individuals and families as well as whole economies.

There are many reasons to be concerned about developing Alzheimer’s disease. Perhaps it runs in your family, or perhaps you or someone you love has what may be early symptoms. Or maybe you just understand how common dementia is among older people and how life-changing it can be. We want to be prepared, and above all we want to prevent Alzheimer’s if we can.


So we come up with strategies. But it’s not so easy. There are many things about the disease that make it a moving target. First of all, there’s the personal uncertainty: Will I (or my loved one) suffer from dementia? If so, will it be a slow process that allows me to live independently, or with minimal help, for a long time, or will it develop rapidly? If I do develop Alzheimer’s, when will it start to affect me?

In addition to the personal uncertainty, there’s the scientific uncertainty. New studies are being published all the time. New experiments that offer hope hit the headlines. New methods of early diagnosis are making their way from the medical journals to the doctor’s office.

On the one hand, we’d like to take advantage of new discoveries, even though we know science moves very slowly. We don’t feel like we have time to wait for the most rigorous process of scientific proof to be fulfilled. On the other hand, we don’t have the time and energy to spend on dead ends.

How can we balance all of these concerns? How can we make sure to take advantage of firmly established medical wisdom, and also cutting-edge science—all without risking wasting time and energy or our health?

The good news is that achieving such a balance is easier than you might think. The key is to focus on changes that are consistent with both cutting-edge science and a generally healthy lifestyle—and to find changes that can be integrated into your life so that they become not just tasks, but part of your daily wellness routine. For example, exercise and a healthy diet are important for preventing Alzheimer’s. The benefits of keeping your body strong and active are well established, and they extend way beyond brain health. Healthy eating and daily exercise are known to prevent a whole host of diseases and to offer lifelong benefits. Making them a priority and working to integrate them into your life is clearly worthwhile. Their potential for preventing dementia is an added bonus.

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Similarly, the cognitive habits that are thought to help prevent dementia are healthful across the board, both physically and emotionally. Finding ways to stimulate your mind by increased social opportunities or a creative hobby such as writing or music can enrich your life in countless ways at the same time that it’s contributing to your brain health: another two-for-the-price-of-one bonus.

But in addition to conventional health wisdom, there are new discoveries that are easy to take advantage of now and that fit in easily with a healthy lifestyle. Light therapy for Alzheimer’s and dementia is an especially promising way to integrate brain-healthy habits into your daily life. One of the most exciting and quickly emerging techniques for encouraging and supporting healthy brain activity is also one of the easiest to add to your daily routine: lights that flicker in harmony with your brain at the same frequency (40Hz). Beacon40 is completely noninvasive, and it doesn’t require anything from you besides turning it on. You can add it to whatever established habits you already have: watching television, cooking, surfing the internet. It works in the background to boost healthy brain activity.

Light therapy allows you to take advantage of the latest scientific discoveries while they’re still in their early stages—but without risking any harm or even unnecessary demands on your time or energy. It’s the perfect way to balance cutting-edge science with everyday living.