Written by Lori Jo Vest
Fact checked by The Brain Blog Team
If you consider yourself intellectually sharp with stellar cognitive skills and a strong memory, does that mean you’ll be able to avoid getting Alzheimer’s disease? Unfortunately not. We’d be willing to bet that most people who currently have Alzheimer’s previously had great memories.
Many things contribute to the onset of Alzheimer's, like your genes, lifestyle, and environment. Your memory is not even on the list. However, here are some of the contributing factors that science has discovered.
People living with Down syndrome are at a greater risk for developing Alzheimer's. Scientists have found that by the age of 40, most individuals with Down syndrome had high levels of beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles. Both plaques and tangles are abnormal protein deposits found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.
Women have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's than men. It isn't known if this is due to hormones or that women statistically live longer than men.
African-American people are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's as white people. There is insufficient data about this because not enough African-Americans have participated in clinical trials. Because black people deal with higher stress levels throughout their lives, the stress hormones’ aftereffects negatively affect brain health. Future studies on Alzheimer’s will need to include more African-American patients to get more representative information. People over age 65 are at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer's simply by their age.
If you’d like to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, keep reading and check out the brain health basics below.
One of the best things you can do to help decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s is take preventative measures. Your genes are beyond your control, but you can arm yourself with knowledge and change your habits. You can control your diet, lifestyle, habits, and environment, all of which impact your risk. Check out these brain health basics to get started today:
Consider getting genetic testing for Alzheimer's. 35% to 30% of the population carries the E gene. It increases your risk but doesn't guarantee you will develop the disease. If you know you have the E gene, you can take a supplement to help prevent the Alzheimer's disease.
Good sleep can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer's. Your brain clears out harmful chemicals while it’s at rest each night. Stick to a regular schedule of 7 to 9 hours a night for the most health benefits. Practice healthy sleep hygiene for better sleep and to stave off insomnia.
Read newspapers and books, solve puzzles, play board games, or play an instrument. Challenge your brain to learn new things by taking online courses and reading how-to books. Learn more about the best brain games for brain health.
Adopt the MIND diet, which combines the Mediterranean and DASH diets for Alzheimer's prevention. (Highlights are an emphasis on leafy greens, berries, raw nuts, whole grains, beans, and olive oil, with minimal fish and poultry.)
Seek professional counseling if you’re struggling with feelings of sadness. Minimize stress in your life as best as you can to help minimize your risk of Alzheimer's. Reach out to friends, family, and neighbors to nurture healthy relationships that are uplifting and help you feel less alone with your challenges. Click to learn what mental health experts know about treatments for mental health in America.
The Memory Health® brain health supplement has patents in both the U.S. and the U.K. for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, specifically dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Adding this supplement to your daily routine is a proven risk reducer. Learn more about the best supplements for brain health.
Taken together, all of these habits and tools can help your body and brain stave off Alzheimer's disease.
Memory Health® was tested and proven in double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, becoming the first supplement to receive a patent for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, specifically Alzheimer's and dementia. It has been clinically proven to improve cognitive functions and memory. Other tested benefits include improvement in sight, focus, clarity, and mood.Learn More