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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

It’s an issue that affects more than 5.5 million people in the US, and that doesn’t even count their loved ones who are often their primary caregivers.

There is no cure, but ongoing research shows promising signs for reducing the risk and delaying the onset of the neurodegenerative disorder.

Today’s “Lauren’s List” includes just a few tips from neurologists that can help.

  1. Get a brain scan: Neuroimaging is one of the most promising areas of research for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurologists say a baseline MRI can reveal issues before symptoms start manifesting. Just like you get routine colonoscopies and mammograms starting at a certain age, some experts suggest routine brain imaging can help.
  2. Don’t skimp on sleep: Tossing and turning all night can increase levels of brain-damaging proteins. One study found people with chronic sleep problems in middle age are at higher risk for Alzheimer’s later in life. So if you’re having trouble with sleep now, it’s worth getting a sleep study done early so you can start finding solutions.
  3. Stay physically and socially active: Studies reveal people with a large social network are at a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Other research shows people who exercise regularly can slow cognitive decline by as much as 38 percent. think about joining an exercise group, class or club. You can get that social interaction in while you boost your physical activity.
  4. Keep learning: People with advanced degrees have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. The thinking is higher education builds a “cognitive reserve” that can be tapped into as the brain begins to endure neurological damage. Also, speaking more than one language can help, as the effort to communicate bilingually is a workout for the brain. It’s never too late to check out continuing education courses near you.

For more facts and information about Alzheimer’s disease, visit https://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp.

Do you know someone with Alzheimer’s disease?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have a future “Lauren’s List” idea, send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

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