New Research: Aiming for Healthy Habits Can Help Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

Even if you have genetic risks for Alzheimer’s disease, healthy lifestyle choices can help lower the chance you will get the disease.

That was the conclusion of several research studies presented at the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC).

“While there is no proven cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s, a large body of research now strongly suggests that combining healthy habits promotes good brain health and reduces your risk of cognitive decline,” said Maria C. Carrillo, PhD, Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer, in a press release from AAIC. “The research reported at AAIC gives us attainable, actionable recommendations that can help us all live a healthier life.”

Here are some of the findings from the various studies:

  1. Following four or five healthy lifestyle choices lowered the risk for Alzheimer’s by 60% compared to not adopting any healthier choices or only following one. The healthy lifestyle factors in the study were a healthy diet, at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate to vigorous physical activity, not smoking, light to moderate alcohol intake, and engaging in cognitively stimulating activities.
  2. Following a healthy lifestyle might counteract a person’s genetic risk for Alzheimer’s.
  3. Among those exposed to high levels of air pollution, cognitive stimulation might benefit the aging brain, lower the risk for dementia.
  4. Early adult to midlife smoking might be associated with cognitive impairment at midlife—as early as in your 40s.
  5. Alcohol abuse significantly increased the risk for dementia in older women.

For more details on each study, see the press release here

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