As the exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is still unknown, there's no certain way to prevent the condition. But a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk.
- stopping smoking
- keeping alcohol to a minimum
- eating a healthy, balanced diet, including at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day
- exercising for at least 150 minutes every week by doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as cycling or fast walking), or as much as you're able to
- making sure your blood pressure is checked and controlled through regular health tests
- if you have diabetes, make sure you keep to the diet and take your medicine
The latest research suggests that other factors are also important, although this does not mean these factors are directly responsible for causing dementia.
- hearing loss
- untreated depression (although this can also be a symptom of dementia)
- loneliness or social isolation
- a sedentary lifestyle
The research concluded that by modifying all the risk factors we're able to change, our risk of dementia could be significantly reduced.
There's some evidence to suggest that rates of dementia are lower in people who remain mentally and socially active throughout their lives.
It may be possible to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia by:
- learning foreign languages
- playing musical instruments
- volunteering in your local community
- taking part in group sports, such as bowling
- trying new activities or hobbies
- maintaining an active social life
Interventions such as "brain training" computer games have been shown to improve cognition over a short period, but research has not yet demonstrated whether this can help prevent dementia.
Read more about preventing dementia.