There are dozens of causes of dementia and
steps for prevention are different for each one.There are no proven
preventive strategies for Alzheimer’s. However, some top
strategies to keep your brain healthy are listed below.

1. Vascular risks: Minimize your risk for strokes, heart disease and
diabetes (keep your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar
in normal range). Studies find strong links between vascular risks and
Alzheimer’s.

2. Exercise regularly: Regular aerobic activities, such as walking, may
reduce risk for dementia by keeping the brain’s blood vessels healthy,
boosting nerve growth chemicals and slowing age-related brain shrinkage.

3. Stimulate your mind: Socialize actively, make new friends, try new
activities, travel to new places and be passionate about learning new
things. Adult brains can grow new brain cell connections and developing a
greater cognitive reserve might help the buffer against dementia
pathology.

4. Heart healthy diet: follow a heart healthy diet such as a
Mediterranean diet but heed the old Okinawan saying Hari Hachi Bu – eat
only till you are 80 percent full; drink in moderation (but not till you
cannot remember what happened the prior night!)

5. Minimize your risk for head injury by wearing helmets. (The Hovding
is a new invisible helmet that promises to keeps your hair looking
pretty and your head safe!)

6. Take part in clinical trials – pros are that trials may offer regular
check-ups and you are helping science; cons are that there are safety
risks. The book, The Alzheimer’s Action Plan gives a step-by-step guide to evaluate which clinical trials are best for you. You might enjoy reading the new book, “Super Brain.” It’s coauthored by the dementia scientist Rudolf Tanzi and the mind-body guru, Deepak Chopra.

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