Doing Five Things Could Decrease Your Risk of Alzheimer’s By 60%

“Light-to-moderate” alcohol consumption can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

An anonymous reader quotes the Washington Post:
A study presented Sunday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Los Angeles found that combining five lifestyle habits — including eating healthier, exercising regularly and refraining from smoking — can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 60 percent. A separate study showed that lifestyle choices can lower risk even for those who are genetically prelifestyle disposed to the disease…

Over the last decade, studies have increasingly pointed to controllable lifestyle factors as critical compenents to reducing the risk of cognitive decline. Researchers say that, as with heart disease, combating dementia will probably require a “cocktail” approach combining drugs and lifestyle changes. And as recent efforts to develop a cure or more effective drug treatments for dementia have proven disappointing, the fact that people can exert some control in preventing the disease through their own choices is encouraging news, they say.

While the new study’s authors expected to see that leading a healther life decreases the chance of dementia, they were floored by the “magnitude of the effect,” said Klodian Dhana, a Rush University professor and co-author. “This demonstrates the potential of lifestyle behaviors to reduce risk as we age,” said Heather Snyder, senior director of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer’s Association. “The fact that four or five lifestyle habits put together can have that kind of benefit for your brain is incredibly powerful.”

The fifth lifestyle habit is “engaging in mentally stimulating activities like reading the newspaper, visiting the library or playing games such as chess and checkers.”

Time reports that even following just two or three of the healthy lifestyle factors reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia in the study by at least 39%.

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