Free Event on Aug. 19, 2010 Offers Latest Research and Tips on Healthy Mental Aging
Aug. 2, 2010 – By age 50, many people will begin to experience age-associated memory impairment. However, studies show brain fitness can be greatly improved with simple lifestyle choices.
On August 19th, 2010, The University of Utah will offer insight into the latest research on healthy mental aging. Free to anyone aged 50 and over, this special event — titled Maintain Your Brain: Brain Fitness for a Lifetime — features a keynote by Dr. Kevin Duff, MD, PhD, of the Center for Alzheimer's Care, Imaging and Research (CACIR) at the U of U. Duff will present everyday strategies for maintaining optimum brain health throughout one's lifetime.
"Mental decline is by no means inevitable," said Duff. "Genetics account for only about one-third of the risk for brain function loss. The rest can be dramatically affected by lifestyle."
Presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the U — a member-based organization that offers classes, special events and social opportunities to people over 50 — Maintain Your Brain will also include class previews, hands-on workshops and an overview of opportunities for older learners in the Salt Lake valley.
"We're giving people simple tools to keep their minds sharp at any age," added Cathy House, Director of Osher at the U.
According to the Alzheimers Association, mentally stimulating activities strengthen brain cells and the connections between them — and can even create new nerve cells. Research has also found strong links between social and physical activity and brain health in older adults.
"Most people only think about fitness from the neck down," said Brent Vawdrey, Program Coordinator for Osher. "But keeping our brain in shape can be just as important, especially as we get older."
A recent study on almost 3,000 senior citizens found that after just 10 sessions of brain training, participants performed between 40-300% better on tasks involving memory, reasoning and mental speed — and that benefits lasted for several years.
"It's really as simple as, 'Use it or lose it,' said House. "We want people to see why 'using it' is important, and how to do it."
Maintain Your Brain: Brain Fitness for a Lifetime will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 19, 2010 at the Commander's House in Fort Douglas. RSVP is required and can be made by calling 801-585-5442 or online at www.osher.utah.edu.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at The University of Utah provides opportunities for intellectually stimulating, affordable, non-credit learning and for meaningful social engagement to people 50 and over. It is part of a network of over 100 Osher Institutes at colleges and universities across the country, all funded by the Bernard Osher Foundation. For more information, registration dates, and course offerings, contact the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at (801) 585-5442 or visit osher.utah.edu to download a program catalog.