from Heidi Mitchell, CHeBA's Marketing & Communications Officer
"In the context of getting older, Positive Ageing is the holy grail and a Healthy Brain is essentially how we get there. With more and more evidence suggesting that many of the risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer's disease don't just point to genetics but are lifestyle-related, it is imperative that we take steps from an early age to work toward not just a longer life, but a more enjoyable and capable one. Increased cardiovascular health, regulated blood glucose levels and a healthy blood pressure are important components in brain health. With the general consensus among researchers that genetic makeup contributes to longevity and health at a rate of only 30%, there is a great deal that we can do to improve our behavioural and lifestyle habits to strive for a better future for ourselves. And, the work on this must begin at an early age. My goal for establishing the CHeBA Champions was to gather a group of dynamic and health-aware individuals in their 20s or 30s who were enthusiastic about increasing the understanding amongst their peers about the impact of lifestyle upon our brain health in late life. At the same time, they would drive much needed funds to advance the research being done at the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) to prevent cognitive decline, improve cognitive functioning as we age and devise better care for people with dementia (especially those in nursing homes).
CHeBA is headed by two international leaders in ageing brain research (Professors Perminder Sachdev and Henry Brodaty), who, together with their team are working on developing markers of early decline in memory and other cognitive functioning so that brain diseases can be detected before the manifestation of dementia. The future of Australia will be impacted greatly by the outcomes of CHeBA. With an ageing population (eg. the population over 80 will quadruple over the next 50 years) and at least half of the people in nursing homes with dementia, we need the high level research being conducted at CHeBA to facilitate long-term change."
Heidi is CHeBA's marketing and communications officer and drives the fundraising endeavours for the Centre. As co-owner and operator of the fitness company Breathe Fire, she's a health fanatic and is passionate about inspiring those around her to make positive changes to their lives in health and fitness for now and the future. She initiated the Fitness Ambassador program and campaigns herself alongside the CHeBA Champions to raise money for CHeBA's research.
Anyone interested in the Fitness Ambassador initiative should contact Heidi.
The CHeBA Champions are Fitness Ambassadors for the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing. These fitness professionals and enthusiasts in their 20s and 30s are championing healthy brain ageing through healthy lifestyles from a young age.