Author Archives: Zuzanna Walter

Addressing Mental Health Among Athletes

Famed tennis player Naomi Osaka recently withdrew from the French Open due to concerns about her mental health; the athlete had suffered long depressive episodes and emphasized the unique pressures of being a high-profile athlete that led to her decision. Osaka’s example serves as an important reminder for the world of elite athletic competition, and can hopefully spur discussions concerning the importance of psychological wellbeing and mental health from tennis courts to the typical office environment.

Up until now, efforts to support elite athlete mental health have mostly centered on building literacy and awareness of the signs of disorders. While mental health awareness is necessary, it is not sufficient in addressing the varied and increasing psychologic needs of athletes. As such concerns increase among the population, clinicians can play a paramount role in supporting their patients’ mental health while being more conscious of the specific issue of athlete mental health to provide improved, holistic care.

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Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month: Can Good Oral Health Help Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease?

The month of June observes Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month recognizing the over 50 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other forms of dementia worldwide. Organizers of the campaign work to ameliorate a global lack of understanding of neurodegenerative diseases; they strive to inform, educate, and provide support for dementia sufferers and their loved ones.

A growing body of research has been able to identify several factors that may contribute to the development of the condition. Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, depression, cognitive inactivity, and other modifiable risk factors have all been associated with dementia, while many others are under investigation.

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Unpacking the 4M’s of Brain Health 

Functioning as the command center of the nervous system, the human brain enables many complex processes; as such, maintaining a healthy, well-functioning brain is a critical element of overall health and one of the most important goals in longevity science. As the global population continues to age, the burden of neurological diseases will increase as will the relevance of brain health preservation. In this context, it is vital to understand the intricacies of the brain aging process which contributes to age-related vulnerabilities and is not uniform. It does, however, center around the “4M’s” of brain health – memory, mood, mobility, and mojo – otherwise known as the vital components of optimal brain health.

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