Study results have been mixed about whether diet, exercise or other healthy lifestyle choices can prevent or reverse cognitive decline. Regardless, these healthy choices promote good overall health and may play a role in good cognitive health.
Aug. 21, 2012
- Regular physical exercise has known benefits for heart health and may also help prevent or slow cognitive decline.
- 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 also 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.
- Intellectual stimulation may prevent cognitive decline. Studies have shown computer use, playing games, reading books and other intellectual activities may help preserve function and prevent cognitive decline.
- Social engagement may make life more satisfying, and help preserve mental function and slow mental decline.
- Memory training and other thinking (cognitive) training may help improve your function.
- McDade EM, et al. Mild cognitive impairment: Epidemiology, pathology, and clinical assessment. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 12, 2012.
- McDade EM, et al. Mild cognitive impairment: Prognosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 12, 2012.
- Petersen RC. Mild cognitive impairment. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;364:2227.
- Shadlen MF, et al. Evaluation of cognitive impairment and dementia. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 12, 2012.
- Petersen RC, et al. Mild cognitive impairment: Ten years later. Archives of Neurology. 2009;66:1447.
- Preventing Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference Statement. April 26-28, 2010. http://consensus.nih.gov/2010/docs/alz/ALZ_Final_Statement.pdf. Accessed June 12, 2012.
- Geda YE, et al. Computer activities, physical exercise, aging, and mild cognitive impairment: A population-based study. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2012;87:437.
- Press D, et al. Prevention of dementia. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 12, 2012.
- Essentials of a diagnostic work-up. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/professionals_and_researchers_14902.asp. June 14, 2012.
- What is sleep apnea? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sleepapnea. Accessed June 14, 2012.
- Ahlskog JE, et al. Physical exercise as a preventive or disease-modifying treatment of dementia and brain aging. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2011;86:876.
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