— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger Illinois for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

—   As research continues to explore the connections between lifestyle choices and Alzheimer’s disease, here’s a quick list of 10 ways to reduce your risk. Know your Risk: Genetics, gender, and a host of modifiable risk factors have been attributed to Alzheimer’s disease. Consult with a neurologist about assessing your own personal risk factors; if you need help getting started, visit www.northshore.org/brainhealth. Commit to Lifelong Learning: Learning new things – even in your sixties and seventies and beyond – keeps …

— Attend AARP’s Free, Two-Part Webinar Medicare: Your Questions Answered PART 1: Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 6 p.m. CT PART 2: Thursday, October 18, 2018 6 p.m. CT The better you understand Medicare, the smarter decisions you can make about it—no matter if you’re enrolling for the first time or getting ready to make changes to your coverage. AARP’s free, two-part webinar helps you get answers and understand your options right when you need it—at the start of the Medicare annual …

— It’s that time of year again – back to school! For most of us in the United States, receiving a formal education is assumed. Some of us even continue to achieve advanced degrees, and go on to hold cognitively challenging jobs. But we can’t stop after we walk across the stage to receive our diploma. Lifelong learning – and the kind of highly educated lifestyle that comes with it – is good for the brain!  Not only can education increase …

— By Dr. Smita Patel The importance of exercise is a message we hear from health professionals throughout our lives, and we are inundated with fitness messages in the media. Now you can add improved brain health to the long list of benefits from exercising. Research shows that aerobic exercise – such as walking briskly for 30-40 minutes, 3-4 days per week – reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In good weather, you can swap gym memberships, trainers and getting in the …

— Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, are a class of drugs that treat acid reflux and peptic ulcers. The three most commonly prescribed PPIs are omeprazole, pantoprazole and esomeprazole. In recent years, some studies reported that PPIs increase risk for dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. We hear patients asking questions about this issue, so I’d like to clarify what we currently know about this risk. Some large-scale observational studies have found that people taking PPIs long-term were more likely to develop dementia …

— One in five women will get Alzheimer’s disease in their lifetime. For men, it’s one in ten. Understanding this difference in gender and Alzheimer’s disease is the subject of much research and debate. Some theories include the loss of protective estrogen after menopause and the simple fact that women, in general, live longer lives than men. (Age is the primary risk factor for Alzheimer’s.) A recent study from the University of Illinois Center for Research on Women and Gender found that among men …

— Springfield, Ill. – AARP Illinois issued the following statement Friday thanking the state House of Representatives for voting 65-38 for HB 4900, a proposal to require generic drug companies to justify drastic increases in price to the state Attorney General. “The House vote for HB 4900 is a step forward for Illinois’ older consumers, for business and for taxpayers,” said Bob Gallo, AARP’s Illinois state director. “We thank the members of the House of Representatives for their strong support for …

— Guest author Emmaline Rasmussen, MS, RD, E-RYT, is a nutrition specialist and clinical research dietitian at NorthShore University HealthSystem. It’s that time of year again when many of us re-think our diets ahead of warmer weather, swim suits, and shorts, so we’d like to take this opportunity to talk about the Mediterranean diet and what it can do for your health. Not only does a healthy Mediterranean-style diet improve your heart health (old news) but it also plays a vital …

— By Dr. Smita Patel, NorthShore Center for Brain Health We often get questions related to testing for “the Alzheimer’s gene”, and I’d like to talk a little about genes, genetic testing and Alzheimer’s. There are a handful of known mutated genes that can be passed from parent to child that cause early onset, “dominantly inherited” Alzheimer’s disease. People may wonder if this gene runs in their family, and if they should be genetically tested for it. But, the families who …

— By Susannah Spiess, MD No one ever claimed it’s a walk in the park, but a colonoscopy is not even close to the dreadful experience it is so often made out to be. Each year 50,000 people in the United States die from colorectal (or colon) cancer. It’s the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. The sad fact is that if everyone older than 50 was screened for the disease, more than 60 percent of the deaths …