|Just Released: Brain Health Messaging for Existing Public Health Campaigns
Recognizing that what is good for the heart is good for the brain, the Alzheimer’s Association has developed a series of evidence-based brain health messages that public health officials can incorporate into existing awareness and educational campaigns. The new messages are based on the current state of research on the connection between cognitive health and certain health conditions and behaviors – such as smoking, physical activity, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
Based on the evidence, the new concise brain health messages are organized into six issues commonly addressed in public health campaigns:
- Midlife hypertension
- Head injury
The ready-to-go messages are designed to be integrated into various existing public health campaign materials and resources. They could also be used together in a stand-alone brain health awareness campaign. The Public Health Road Map, jointly developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Aging Program and the Alzheimer’s Association, calls for public health to disseminate messages on reducing the risk of cognitive decline. For additional assistance with incorporating these messages into existing campaigns, contact Molly French (email@example.com).
ACL Releases New Resources on Medication and Brain Health
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has released Medicine, Age, and Your Brain, a new resource designed to educate older adults about the effects some medication can have on the brain and the importance of talking to health care providers about this topic. Developed by ACL, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this brain health resource is an educator-led program that public health practitioners can download and present in their communities.
ACL also recently released a Spanish version of Brain Health Basics, an educator-led program to promote healthy aging and teach people ways to reduce their risk of cognitive decline.
Visit ACL’s Brain Health As You Age: You Can Make A Difference! webpage to learn more about these resources and view additional materials, issue briefs, and information related to brain health.
Awareness Campaign Highlights Growing Link Between Hypertension and Dementia
Mind Your Risks – a new public health campaign from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) – encourages people with hypertension to manage their blood pressure to reduce their risk not only of stroke but also possibly of dementia. The campaign focuses on the growing link between certain cardiovascular risk factors – such as high blood pressure in midlife – and the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
The program promotes several healthy behaviors individuals can take to manage high blood pressure, including eating healthy, engaging in physical activity, stopping smoking, and managing diabetes. Several campaign resources are available for public health officials, and information is available for health care professionals to help educate patients.
CDC Launches Public Data Portal on Older Adults
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Healthy Aging Data Portal, which provides access to a range of national, regional, and state data on older adults. Developed by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, users can examine data on key indicators of health and well-being of older Americans, such as tobacco and alcohol use, screenings and vaccinations, and mental and cognitive health.
Portal users may retrieve CDC data by indicator or geographic area, and then download datasets, develop reports, and create customizable maps, charts, and graphics. The Portal enables public health professionals and policymakers to examine a snapshot of the health of older adults in their states in order to prioritize and evaluate public health interventions.
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