5 tips to help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Dementia is a loss of memory and cognitive ability commonly related to aging, and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.  “While there is still much to learn about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, there is evidence that certain lifestyle habits may help ward off age-related mental decline,” says Dr. Joel Sadavoy, Geriatric Psychiatrist and Director of the Cyril & Dorothy, Joel & Jill Reitman Centre for Alzheimer’s Support and Training at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Follow these tips to help you maintain good health—for your body and your brain:

1)Get regular cardiovascular exercise.  Regular physical activity supports healthy blood flow to the brain and may even support the growth of new brain cells.

2)Keep your mind sharp.  The earlier you start doing mentally stimulating activities, especially new activities that you have to learn like puzzles and math games, the more they can help to maintain strong connections between brain cells.

3)Maintain an active social life.  Individuals with strong social engagement and interaction may have lower rates of cognitive decline.

4)Reduce your risk of heart disease. Lowering risk for heart disease also reduces the risk of dementia. Quit smoking, ensure healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels and control excess weight and diabetes.

5)Maintain a healthy diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and good fats.  Dark vegetables and berries can positively impact brain health. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring are great sources of good fats.

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Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation

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