New Study Suggests 5 Lifestyle Habits to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk by 60%

Published On :   2019-07-15

The study involved assessing five metrics, viz. involvement in cognitive stimulation activities, alcohol consumption, smoking, exercise regimen, and diet.

The risk of Alzheimer’s disease could be reduced by nearly 60% with the combination of healthy lifestyle choices, viz. quitting smoking, regular exercise, healthier eating, performing mentally stimulating activities, and avoiding red meat, finds new study. Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center compiled the report, and the study was recently presented at Los Angeles’ Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. Even people who are genetically prelifestyle disposed to Alzheimer’s disease could lower the risk with the help of lifestyle habits, showed a separate research. The Rush team tracked over 2,700 older adults over more than a decade for the study.

“This shows the potential that lifestyle behaviors carry for reducing risk as we age. The fact that 4-5 lifestyle habits combined together could have that type of benefit for your brain is unbelievably powerful,” said the Alzheimer’s Association’s Senior Director of Scientific and Medical Operations, Heather Snyder PhD.

Results of the study did not change according to gender or race

According to co-author and Rush University professor, Klodian Dhana, MD, PhD, lifestyles of participants in the study were examined on the basis of five metrics, viz. involvement in cognitive stimulation activities, alcohol consumption, smoking, exercise regimen, and diet. Each metric was then scored by the researchers, marking participants a ‘zero’ if their behavior was unhealthy in that category and a ‘one’ if it was healthy.

Participants who exercised for a minimum of 150 minutes per week, avoided red meats, and followed a high-quality diet, mainly including seafood, whole grains, nuts, and vegetables received ‘ones.’ Those who played chess, visited a library, and read newspaper for at least 2-3 times a week, restricted their wine consumption to one glass a day, and avoided smoking also received ‘ones.’ After final calculations were done, it was found that compared to those who scored zero or one, participants who earned a score of 4-5 had 60% less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The participants were either enrolled in the Rush Memory and Aging Project or the Chicago Health and Aging Project with average age of 81 and 73 years respectively.

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