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Proactive Brain Health Critical as Americans' Life Expectancy Reaches All Time High
Date:9/22/2011

COLUMBIA, Md., Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- life'sDHA™ and the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) are partnering for the second year for Beautiful Minds: Finding Your Lifelong Potential, a national health education campaign designed to empower Americans to develop and maintain healthy, beautiful minds by incorporating key lifestyle factors known as the four dimensions of brain health – diet and nutrition, physical health, mental health and social well-being.

Today the campaign unveiled the 2011 America's Brain Health Index, a state-by-state ranking of brain health that delivers data on how well Americans are incorporating the four dimensions into their daily lives and reveals the states where more action is needed. The campaign also introduced this year's "Beautiful Minds," 11 inspirational individuals from across the country who are fulfilling the four dimensions of brain health and achieving amazing things well into the second half of life.

"As the country experiences an unprecedented increase in life expectancy to 78 years — an increase of 30 years over the past century — the knowledge that we can influence brain health and cognition throughout adult life is more important than ever," said Dr. Majid Fotuhi, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Neurology Institute for Brain Health and Fitness, and assistant professor of neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "The largest aging population in history will experience the most longevity of any generation, which means taking action to improve our brain health should be a high priority on the health checklist for all of us."

Americans who want to join this growing brain-healthy community to find out where their state ranks in the America's Brain Health Index, meet this year's Beautiful Minds, and learn about simple steps that they can take to improve brain health are invited to visit www.beautiful-minds.com.

Celebrating Beautiful MindsAs part of the Beautiful Minds campaign, adults 55 and over were invited to submit a nominating essay and America was then invited to vote for its favorites online. In all, 11 individuals were selected to be featured in a traveling photo essay exhibit, from a 59-year old who founded an organization to teach work skills to West Africans, to a 91-year old who wrote and acted in a play at 86. The Beautiful Minds' stories, photos and videos are captured on www.beautiful-minds.com as part of an online hub of information for Americans who wish to improve their own brain health. The site includes a variety of resources including a quiz in which they can test their brain health; tips for incorporating the four dimensions of brain health into everyday life; and many more elements to inspire people to take action in keeping their minds beautiful as they age.

"The process of aging is a profound experience marked by increasing physical and emotional change and a heightened search for meaning and purpose. The Beautiful Minds: Finding Your Lifelong Potential campaign demonstrates that Americans can enjoy lives filled with purpose and passion by incorporating the four dimensions of brain health into their daily activities," said Gay Powell Hanna, Ph.D., M.F.A., executive director of the National Center for Creative Aging.

Ranking the Healthiest Brains in the Nation To develop America's Brain Health lndex, life'sDHA worked in partnership with key health experts, including Dr. Fotuhi and Dr. Michael Roizen, leading medical expert, best-selling author, and advisor to the Index, to determine the key indicators of brain health and to build the Index with data aggregated from highly credible secondary resources.

"Keeping the brain healthy is easier than many people realize. Everyday actions such as adding good fats like DHA omega-3 to your diet and staying active physically, mentally and socially are all good ways to influence long-term brain health," said Dr. Roizen.

Conducted in 2009 and 2011, the America's Brain Health Index evaluated the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia based on 21 factors, including diet and nutrition, physical health, mental health and social well-being. In addition to providing a ranking for each state, America's Brain Health Index also includes comparative data showing how each state has either progressed, held its own or lost ground in taking measures to improve brain health over the past two years.

The 2011 America's Brain Health Index shows that the top two brain-healthy geographies in the United States are Maryland (No.1) and the District of Columbia (No. 2). Index comparative data also shows that Maryland has overtaken Washington for the No. 1 spot since 2009. Both Maryland and Washington D.C. are home to two of the Beautiful Minds who are being recognized for their commitment to brain health. View the complete rankings at  www.beautiful-minds.com.

About life'sDHA™life'sDHA™, a DSM Nutritional Products brand, is a sustainable and vegetarian source of algal DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 important for brain, heart and eye health throughout life. Fish are often incorrectly thought to be the only source of DHA omega-3. However, life'sDHA offers a trusted, vegetarian form of algal DHA that contains no oceanic pollutants or toxins. Fish are sources of DHA because of the DHA-rich microalgae in their food chain; life'sDHA is derived directly from microalgae, a renewable, sustainable source of DHA that does not deplete ocean resources, and is produced entirely in the U.S. in an FDA-inspected facility. Today, life'sDHA is found in numerous foods, beverages and supplements for people of all ages. For a complete list of products containing life'sDHA, visit www.lifesdha.com.

About the National Center for Creative Aging  The National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) was founded in 2001 and is dedicated to promoting creative expression as vital to healthy aging through education, research, advocacy, and technical assistance in health and wellness, lifelong learning and community. Based in Washington, D.C., NCCA is a nonprofit organization with 3,000 members and is affiliated with The George Washington University. Contact:Andrea Martin

Sara BloodDSM Nutritional Products

Carmichael Lynch Spong240.512.2639

612.375.8504admartin@martek.com

sara.blood@clynch.com
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SOURCE life'sDHA(TM)
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