According to a statement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a number of factors could play a role in whether you develop Alzheimer's disease. However, more research is needed before modification of any of these factors can be proved to prevent Alzheimer's disease.
The NIH report was developed by an independent panel of health professionals and public representatives who reviewed the most current research on Alzheimer's prevention. The panel found that studies to date have varied too much in size, scope, criteria and definitions to compare results and draw reliable conclusions.
Although more research is needed to definitively prove which Alzheimer's prevention strategies are effective, some possible strategies that promote good overall health include:
- Avoiding smoking
- Eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits and lean protein, particularly protein sources containing omega-3 fatty acids
- Being physically and socially active
- Taking care of your mental health
- Using thinking (cognitive) skills, such as memory skills
March 12, 2013
- NIH consensus development conference statement on preventing Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. National Institutes of Health. http://consensus.nih.gov/2010/alzstatement.htm. Accessed Dec. 20, 2012.
- Press D, et al. Prevention of dementia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 20, 2012.