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Reducing the risk

Reducing the risk

The way the brain works changes over time. If you or someone you know has trouble remembering or thinking, it’s important to tell a doctor. This way a doctor can start looking for signs and symptoms early.

Only a doctor can tell if the changes are normal. In 2018, 11% of Americans aged 45 and older said they noticed recent changes in the way their brain worked. But more than half of those people did not tell a doctor.

There is no way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. But there are ways to reduce the risk of getting it.

Reducing the risk does not mean a person won’t get Alzheimer's. It means the chance, or risk, of getting Alzheimer’s is less than it was.

Ways to reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s include:

Regular exercise

Regular exercise

Volunteering

Volunteering

Healthy diet

Healthy diet

Learning and exercising the brain

Learning and exercising the brain

Doing things with loved ones. Being around people can help your brain work

Doing things with loved ones. Being around people can help your brain work

Heart care

Heart care

Taking care of your heart can help your body take care of your brain, too. Obesity, smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all risk factors for heart disease.

Eat a healthy diet and have an exercise routine. This can help lower the risk of diabetes. It can also lower your blood pressure. Take part in social activities like family gatherings and volunteering. Try to learn new things or have hobbies that require a lot of thought. If you smoke, give it up as soon as possible. If your doctor has given you medicine, take it the same way every day.

Some studies say the rate of people with Alzheimer’s disease in the US and other Western countries has gone down over the past 25 years. More people are staying in school, getting a college degree, and taking care of their hearts. This could be why the numbers are going down.

The brain changes as a person ages. It is critical to report changes in your ability to think or remember things to a doctor. In 2018, 11% of Americans aged 45 and older reported they noticed a decline in their mental ability, yet more than half of them did not report mental decline to their doctor.

Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s does not mean that it will be prevented. It means the chance of getting Alzheimer’s is less.

While there is no way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there are several ways to reduce the risk. These include:

Regular physical activity

Regular physical activity

Volunteering

Volunteering

Healthy diet

Healthy diet

Lifelong learning and mental training

Lifelong learning and mental training

Staying socially active throughout life

Staying socially active throughout life

Heart care

Heart care

Heart disease and Alzheimer's disease have a lot of risk factors in common. Obesity, smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all risk factors for heart disease that can be managed.

Eat a healthy diet and have a regular exercise routine. This can help lower the your blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes. Take part in social activities like family gatherings and volunteering. Try to engage your mind by learning new things or doing hobbies that require a lot of thought. If you smoke, give it up as soon as possible. If your doctor has given you medicine, take it the same way every day.

According to some studies, the rate of people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the US and other Western countries has gone down over the past 25 years. This is because more people are staying in school, pursuing higher education, and controlling risk factors for heart disease.

Cognitive ability changes as the brain ages. It is critical to report changes in your ability to think or remember things to a doctor. In 2018, 11% of Americans aged 45 and older reported a decline in their cognitive ability, yet more than half of them did not report it to their doctor.

While there is no way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there are ways to reduce the risk.

Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s does not mean that it will be prevented. It means the chance of getting Alzheimer’s is less than it was.

Ways to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s include:

Regular physical activity

Regular physical activity

Volunteering

Volunteering

Healthy diet

Healthy diet

Lifelong learning and mental training

Lifelong learning and mental training

Engage in social activities throughout life

Engage in social activities throughout life

Managing cardiovascular risk factors

Managing cardiovascular risk factors

Cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease have many risk factors in common. Obesity, smoking, diabetes, and hypertension are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease that can be managed, which in turn reduces the risk of Alzheimer's.

Eat a healthy diet and maintain a regular exercise routine. This can help lower blood pressure and the risk of diabetes. Take part in social activities like family gatherings and volunteering. Engage your mind by learning new things or doing hobbies that require cognitive exercise. If you smoke, give it up as soon as possible. If your doctor has given you medicine, adhere to the dosing regimen.

According to some studies, the number of people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the US and other Western countries has declined over the past 25 years. This is because more people are staying in school, pursuing higher education, and controlling cardiovascular risk factors.

NEXT: State of the disease

References: 1. Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures 2019. 2. Treatment & prevention. Australian Alzheimer's Research Foundation. https://alzheimers.com.au/about-alzheimers/treatment/. Accessed October 5, 2019. 3. Prevention. Alzheimer's Association. https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/research_progress/prevention. Accessed October 5, 2019.