5 Tips That May Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Photo (cc) by IsaacMao

Today, one in eight Americans over the age of 65 live with Alzheimer’s Disease.

This progressive brain disorder causes brain cells to degenerate and die, which results in a continuing decline in memory and other mental functions. Alzheimer’s literally shrinks the brain. (Check out this illustration from the BrightFocus Foundation.)

Each year, Alzheimer’s costs 79,000 people their lives, making it the sixth leading cause of death. It also costs American society – $200 billion this year alone, according to the Alzheimer’s Association‘s projection.

Scientists haven’t yet discovered a proven way to cure or prevent the disorder, but recent research connects certain lifestyle changes with decreased chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Considering that these lifestyle changes will improve your physical health or mental function even if Alzheimer’s weren’t a concern, you have little to lose…

  • Exercise your brain. Two studies published last week by the American Academy of Neurology support existing evidence of a connection between your mental activity now and your mental acuity later in life. In other words, keeping mentally active appears to preserve your mental skills, which may otherwise weaken with time. Examples of ways to challenge your brain include reading, playing board games, and doing crossword puzzles.
  • Exercise your body. This tip is also backed by numerous studies – of mice and humans. The Mayo Clinic has even called exercise the “best bet” for preventing Alzheimer’s. Note, though, that “exercise” in this case means getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes several times a week.
  • Protect your health. A study published by the American Academy of Neurology last year found that seniors who rated their health as poor had greater chances of developing Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. A second study published last year found that even a modest reduction of certain medical risk factors – smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyles, midlife high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression – could prevent 3 million cases of Alzheimer’s worldwide.
  • Protect your mental health. A 10-year study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in November connected poor psychological health (specifically depression and anxiety) to a greater chance of dying from Alzheimer’s Disease. As if you needed another reason to relieve stress, “One possibility, the researchers propose, is that chronic levels of psychological distress may raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Persistently high levels of cortisol, in turn, may have toxic effects on the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is critical for memory.”
  • Learn a foreign language. An article about the benefits of being bilingual, published in The New York Times last month, cited a recent University of California-San Diego study. It found that people with a higher degree of bilingualism were more resistant to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In other words, the more proficient you are at a second language, the later the disease onset.

Karla Bowsher runs our Deals page and covers consumer, retail, and health issues. If you have a comment, suggestion, or question, leave a comment or contact her at [email protected].

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Never Buy These 12 Things at a Thrift Store
Never Buy These 12 Things at a Thrift Store

Sometimes a great deal is not worth it — or, even worse, is dangerous.

6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security
6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security

If you fall into one of these groups, don’t assume that you will receive benefits.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

10 Bad Money Habits That Are Robbing You Blind
10 Bad Money Habits That Are Robbing You Blind

Here’s how to change those bad behaviors.

8 Things You Should Rent Instead of Buying
8 Things You Should Rent Instead of Buying

You may think you’re looking at a must-have purchase. But do the numbers and think twice.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

4 States Where Taxes on Social Security May Fall Soon
4 States Where Taxes on Social Security May Fall Soon

These states are considering reducing — or even eliminating — income taxes on Social Security benefits.

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.