Your brain is an amazing organ. It helps you walk, talk, think, eat, breathe, and remember things. It works all day and night, silently in the background. It is a body part that is critical to life, but we don’t often think about what we can do to keep our brains healthy.

Taking action today can help lower your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia and, like all dementias, is a serious disease that causes changes in your brain that can affect memory, speech, balance, and the ability to care for yourself on a daily basis.

For diverse communities in Los Angeles, brain health is even more important. Alzheimer’s and other dementias affect African Americans at much higher rates.

Courtesy Photo

In fact, older adult African Americans are twice as likely as Whites to develop Alzheimer’s or another dementia and are particularly at risk for vascular dementia because high blood pressure is more common among African Americans.

The California Department of Public Health estimates that the number of African Americans in Los Angeles living with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to almost double between 2015 and 20301.

There are many things that may be causing this including not having high-quality healthcare, not seeing a doctor regularly or learning about brain health, having other serious health conditions to manage such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and even genetics play a role.

Minority communities may be at greater risk of developing dementia than Whites because they experience more challenging health conditions and greater socioeconomic challenges which result in more stress, and because people are living longer in general.

Because African Americans are twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s or another dementia, it is even more important for people in our community to be aware of the risks and have the knowledge and tools to help reduce our risk.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has developed a new project focusing on African Americans and Latino communities in South Los Angeles. The Healthy Brain Initiative, a two-year project, is designed to teach people healthy behaviors that help you maintain a healthy brain, understand warning signs and when to speak to your doctor, and make sure people living with Alzheimer’s get high-quality care. As part of this project, a new program is being offered to help educate the community.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), co-chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease will open the upcoming webinar, on Wednesday, March 16, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., by welcoming participants and sharing her thoughts on the importance of maintaining a healthy brain. Healthy Brain Habits: Reducing Your Risk for Alzheimer’s, will be hosted by Alzheimer’s Los Angeles.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (Courtesy Photo)

The community is invited to join us for a free virtual session to learn simple changes you can make to support your brain health. Join us to learn healthy habits to keep your brain healthy, the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and what to do if you think you are at risk.

Register online at or call 844-435-7259 to learn more.