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Alzheimer's Disease FAQs (cont.)

How can Alzheimer's disease be prevented?

There is no known way to prevent Alzheimer's disease; however, being watchful for its symptoms and signs may allow earlier diagnosis and treatment. Appropriate treatment can slow or relieve symptoms and behavior problems in some people.

Although some risk factors, such as age and genetics, can't be controlled, Alzheimer's disease may at least be delayed.

Healthy lifestyle

One way to reduce risk factors is to live a healthy lifestyle. Risk factors for Alzheimer's disease include heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Brain health is linked to heart health, and if the heart has a hard time pumping blood, the brain won't get all the blood it needs. Research has found that people with high cholesterol and high blood pressure were six times as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease as those without elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. With a healthy diet, the risk of developing heart disease, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure is reduced, and both the heart and brain are healthier.

Keep active

Keeping active - physically, mentally, and socially - may also help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

  • Physical exercise is important. It prevents muscle weakness, maintains the overall fitness of the body and has also a positive effect on thecardiovascular system.
  • Mental exercise - keeping the brain active -- might helps keep brain cells and the connections between them strong, further protecting against mental decline. Crossword puzzles, games, reading, writing, attending community classes, and watching educational programs can help a person stay mentally active.
  • Research shows that people aged 75 years and older who regularly participate in social activities have a lower risk for developing certain types of dementia. The risk for those who participate in social activities that combine mental and physical activity is even lower.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/1/2014
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