New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund; Study Shows Being Disagreeable Helps Fight Alzheimer’s


Led by state First Lady Tammy Murphy, and joined by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Charlie Puth Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Danny DeVito, Whoopi Goldberg and soccer star Carli Lloyd, the NJ Pandemic Relief Fund ( is calling for donations to fight the medical, social and economic impact of COVID-19 in the Garden State.

In a video, the celebrities renewed calls for New Jerseyans to social distance as much as possible in the country’s most congested state. Despite this period of isolation, people can still help their neighbors by donating to pandemic relief.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed a sweeping stay-at-home order obligating the majority of residents to only leave home for groceries, medicine or dog walking. There are at least 44 COVID-19 deaths and nearly 3,700 confirmed cases of the disease in the state.

Up to 70 percent of dementia cases are due to Alzheimer’s disease. Early onset involves forgetting recent events. As it progresses, victims become irritable, lose motivation, become easily disoriented, and have trouble expressing themselves.

Thus far, genetics seem to be the driving factor, though head injuries, diabetes, hypertension, and depression have all been implicated. While there are means for fighting it, including reading, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight, researchers have struggled to identify means for reversing it.

For a study, researchers in Switzerland followed a group of 65 people aged 65 or older for five years. They repeatedly tested for amyloid accumulation and brain deterioration, and monitored nonbiological factors, such as cognitive aptitude and personality tests. It appears that curiosity and non-agreeableness are two traits shared by those who are best protected from the disease.

Seniors who refuse to conform with the pack seem better equipped to combat the ravages of dementia. Being open to new experiences also proves effective. We already know that exercises like learning a language or musical instruments help create new neural pathways (neurogenesis) at every age. Trying out new things seems to keep your brain healthy.

Changing one’s personality, especially at an advanced age, is extremely challenging. But you can change your brain at any age — we should aim to keep it as healthy as possible for as long as possible. It seems that the best way to do this is to stay curious and be kind — just not too kind.

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