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Reducing Your Risk of Alzheimers Disease
Because the causes are unknown, there are currently no guidelines for reducing your risk of Alzheimers disease.
Scientists are studying medications and lifestyle factors that may help. Diet, mental activity, and exercise may play a role in brain health. For example:
- Regular exercise and social engagement may decrease the risk of developing dementia.
- There is some evidence that the Mediterranean diet may help lower your risk of Alzheimers disease, as well. This diet includes foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds, olive oil, and fish.
- Drinking alcohol may be beneficial, but it is drinking in moderation, one drink or less per day for women, two drinks per day or less for men. If you do not drink, you do not have to start to get any benefits.
Control of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes may help to reduce your risk. In addition, some researchers have argued that long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can lower the risk.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been studied in Alzheimers prevention but research is unclear, in fact, some studies have shown an increased risk of Alzheimers with HRT. As our understanding of Alzheimers disease grows, your doctor may have more information regarding steps for reducing your risk as you age. Studies are ongoing to allow us to better understand the risk factors for Alzheimers disease.
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9/18/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Anstey KJ, Mack HA, Cherbuin N. Alcohol consumption as a risk factor for dementia and cognitive decline: meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009;17(7):542-555.
8/23/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Ritchie K, Carrière I, Ritchie CW, Berr C, Artero S, Ancelin ML. Designing prevention programmes to reduce incidence of dementia: prospective cohort study of modifiable risk factors. BMJ. 2010;341:c3885.
4/8/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Sofi F, Abbate R, Gensini GF, Casini A. Accruing evidence on benefits of adherence to the Mediterranean diet on health: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92(5):1189-1196.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 08/2015
- Update Date: 09/17/2014