Study results have been mixed about whether diet, exercise or other healthy lifestyle choices can prevent or reverse cognitive decline. But these healthy choices promote good overall health and may play a role in maintaining cognitive health, so there's no harm in including these strategies in your general wellness plan:
June 17, 2014
- Regular exercise has known benefits for heart health and may also help prevent cognitive decline. Exercise may also help improve mood.
- A diet low in fat and rich in fruits and vegetables is another heart-healthy choice that also may help protect cognitive health.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart. Most research showing a possible benefit for cognitive health uses fish consumption as a yardstick for the amount of omega-3 fatty acids eaten.
- Social engagement and intellectual stimulation may make life more satisfying and help preserve mental function.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Alzheimer's disease fact sheet. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Halter JB, et al. Hazzard's Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. 6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=540. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Leal SL, et al. Perturbations of neural circuitry in aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. Ageing Research Reviews. 2013;12:823.
- Wright CB. Etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of vascular dementia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Papadakis MA, ed., et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2014. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Grabowski TJ. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/caring-person-alzheimers-disease/about-guide. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Alternative treatments. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_alternative_treatments.asp. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Alzheimer's disease at a glance. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/alzheimer/ataglance. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Smith GE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 19, 2014.
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