Are There Lifestyle Changes I Can Implement to Reduce My Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia?
Michael Comber, Pharmacist
Alzheimer’s disease has climbed the ranks to become the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. Patients are often concerned with the diagnosis, not just for themselves but for the potential burden on their loved ones as caregivers. So, what can you do to try and prevent it?
The most convincing evidence we have to date provides insight into several key prevention factors. Moderate aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, 3–4 days a week, can help prevent the development of the disease or slow its progression. Sleeping 7–8 hours a night has been linked to greater amyloid clearance from the brain. Eating a Mediterranean diet that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and olive oil, moderate amounts of poultry and little to no red meat can be beneficial. Even partially sticking to this diet has shown to be of benefit for those who cannot quite adjust to a whole lifestyle change.
Other connections are being researched as risk factors for development, with some positive results to note. Although more data is needed to draw conclusions for dementia, the definitive benefit in the prevention of other disease states makes their possible overlap an additional benefit to your overall health outlook. These things include not smoking, having a reduced waist line (not just a lower body mass index), maintaining good oral hygiene, keeping blood pressure under control and staying mentally and socially active.
The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent that of AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation. The content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat any health condition and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health professional.
June 1, 2019