by Dr. Rajal Patel, WellcomeMD Mooresville

Part of my job as a family care physician is to let my patients know of potential future health issues and how to offset current ones. Alzheimer’s disease is a concern for many of us, either for loved ones and for ourselves. There’s credible new research that strongly indicates that you and I can improve our odds of warding off Alzheimer’s — its memory loss, and its other cognitive storms.

Alzheimer’s affects more than one in ten Americans over 65. Unfortunately, there is no miracle pill to cure it. The newest drug for Alzheimer’s has troubling side-effects and will cost about $56,000 a year. Its effectiveness is so open to question that five members of the FDA’s advisory committee resigned to protest its approval. There are also many online Alzheimer’s “cures” on offer. The FDA recently issued warnings to firms illegally selling 58 ineffective, unsafe and unproven products that claim to help with this and other diseases.

The hopeful news I mentioned is in the latest Journal of Neuroscience. Scientists at several medical research institutions reviewed information gathered from annual mental tests and activity monitoring, from hundreds of people, mostly in their 80s. This research is an unmistakably strong endorsement that confirms prior studies: those who moved more, developed Alzheimer’s less.

Among the “movers” group, even those with evidence of Alzheimer’s in their brain tissue had shown memory and cognitive losses much less frequently while alive. These were big differences in the “movers”, not subtle ones. The key take-home point is if you want to avoid memory loss – just move. You don’t have to be a marathon runner or lift barbells. Get up and move, go for a walk for at least an hour a day.

If you or a family member or friend has started to notice some memory issues, walking, and moving may even help reverse some of that. We already know that physical activity decreases our risk for heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and helps us maintain a healthy weight, now we have another reason to be active.

At WellcomeMD Mooresville/Lake Norman, we have time to pay attention to this kind of research. A limit on membership allows our patients to establish a proactive relationship with their doctor. We can see you the same day if you’re ill. We have a “waitless” waiting room because we stay on schedule. Appointments aren’t rushed. Our patients have our email addresses and phone numbers to contact us for emergencies.

We want to work with you to be pro-active about health, not just reactive when the problems occur. If that is of interest for you and your loved ones, let’s meet and talk. Call us at 980-324-2177 or visit for more information.