It seems like there’s always some new study claiming that doing this or eating that can give your brain a boost and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. But is warding off dementia really as simple as just consuming more fish or learning a second language?
Current research can only draw loose lines between lifetime behaviors and dementia prevention. It’s virtually impossible, unfortunately, to say that any strategy is guaranteed to be successful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. But there’s very little downside to following these positive lifestyle approaches, and the benefit could be significant.
“Delaying the presentation [of dementia symptoms] by three to five years means a huge number of individuals will die of something else before they display a cognitive decline,” points out Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist in the department of neurology at Emory University in Atlanta, and herself a bilingual flutist. “That means they are more functional at death, and they have reduced their cost of care and increased their quality of life.” Here, a look at five of the top Alzheimer’s prevention strategies: