Dr. Tariot shares some great Alzheimer's disease prevention tips for women.
We think we’re at the point where we can credibly and responsibly articulate a few points about prevention now. There is mounting evidence that a healthy lifestyle, like a heart-healthy lifestyle, is actually probably a brain-healthy lifestyle. So, aerobic exercise seems to be very important in reducing risk and also mitigating severity for people who already have the illness. Aerobic exercise, a healthy diet, an example of what we mean by that is the so-called Mediterranean diet, rich in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, low in animal fat, fish, certain kinds of oils and nuts, and relatively low on simple sugar basically and refined flour.
People who consume that type of diet seem to be at reduced risk. Interestingly, if all I know about a woman is that she walks outside every week, I know something about her risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. If all I know about her is the number of relationships she has, the number of different people she interacted within the last month, I know something about her risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
So move it or lose it: healthy diet, social stimulation, intellectual stimulation, these seem in the aggregate, to be very potent, and some predictions suggest that as much as 50% risk reduction with that kind of healthy lifestyle. The other big hope we have is that as we get better at treating Alzheimer’s with specific targeted medications that these will then be able to be prudently applied in prevention studies. So we are very close to launching major prevention studies that we think could really alter the future of this disease.
About Dr. Tariot:
Dr. Pierre Tariot is board-certified in internal medicine and geriatric psychiatry at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute. He has devoted his career to helping thousands of patients and families cope with dementia. He is also a world leader in the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss.
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