Five Behaviors to Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

According to research that was published in the June online issue of Neurology, five specific behaviors were found to have a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s. Some of these behaviors included physical activity, light to moderate alcohol consumption, a high-quality diet, and participation in cognitive activities.  This data was obtained from a study of nearly 3,000 research participants. Those who adhered to four of the five behaviors were found to have a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s.

In this study the research team assessed data from two National Institutes of Health (NIH) study populations, the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) and the Memory and Aging Project (MAP). The participants selected from the study that had the required data resulted in 1,845 total participants from the combined projects. The participants were scored on five healthy lifestyle factors.

  • Physical Activity – 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity.  Physical activity is important, especially as we age. Here’s how you can get started.
  • High Quality Diet – Several diets have shown helpful to dementia prevention, especially those that are plant based.  Diets including the Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet may be helpful in preventing dementia.  Additionally, a new study shows a link between Alzheimer’s and gut microbiota, so improving gut health can also be beneficial to help lower your risk to Alzheimer’s.
  • Not Smoking – There are many health benefits to quitting smoking besides helping in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. Even if you have been smoking for a long time, quitting now can still be very beneficial to your health. For more information on smoking and how to quit, learn here.
  • Decrease Alcohol – Limiting alcohol to a light to moderate amount can be beneficial to brain health.  As your body ages, alcohol can affect your body differently, which can lead to more falls and accidents.  Learn more about how alcohol affects brain health to help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • Engaging in Cognitive Activities – As we age it is especially important to be engaged in cognitive activities that challenge the mind.  Some activities like reading, puzzles, volunteering or others can keep the mind healthy.  Any engaging activity can be beneficial.  

After examining the results of the study, it concluded that the risk of Alzheimer’s was 37% lower in those with two to three, and 60% lower in those with four to five healthy lifestyle factors. This study helps people understand the multiple factors that are likely involved in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides valuable resources to reverse unhealthy behaviors and to help provide a lower risk to Alzheimer’s.

Palm Beach Neurological Center is a neurological center that provides clinical services as well as conducts several clinical studies and is located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  Dr. Tuchman is a board-certified Neurologist who treats his patients with the utmost care. Please contact us for more information on Alzheimer’s and the prevention of Alzheimer’s. We can be reached at (561) 694-1010.

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