Alanna Shaikh, a global health expert whose father was diagnosed with Alzheimer ’s disease in 2005, has a three-part plan should the disease decide to strike her: Changing what she does for fun, building physical strength, trying to become a better person. “The more things my hands know how to do, the more things that I can be happy and busy doing when my brain’s not running the show anymore,” Shaikh said. She’s taking yoga and tai-chi to improve her balance. In the event the disease does strike her, she says she will be able to hold it off and function that much longer. Alzheimer’s can be devastating for family and friends to endure. Shaikh believes being a kind person will make it that much easier for the survivors to deal with. “I need a heart so pure that if it’s stripped bare by dementia, it will survive,” she said.

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