The health of your brain's blood vessels is closely linked to your overall heart health. Taking these steps to keep your heart healthy may also help reduce your risk of vascular dementia:

  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure. Keeping your blood pressure in the normal range may help prevent both vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Keep your cholesterol in check. A healthy, low-fat diet and cholesterol-lowering medications if you need them may reduce your risk of vascular dementia, probably by reducing the amount of plaque deposits building up inside your brain's arteries.
  • Prevent or control diabetes. Avoiding the onset of diabetes, with diet and exercise, is another possible way to decrease your risk of dementia. If you already have diabetes, controlling your glucose levels can help protect your brain blood vessels from damage.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking tobacco damages blood vessels everywhere in your body.
  • Get physical exercise. Regular physical activity should be a key part of everyone's wellness plan. In addition to all of its other benefits, exercise may help you avoid vascular dementia.
Apr. 30, 2011