Alzheimer’s disease is seen as an irreversible, progressive brain disorder caused by plaques and “tangles” in the brain, along with the loss of connections between neurons in the brain. The disease is feared by aging adults the world over.

Though while it’s seen as irreversible (even though a connection between coconut oil and Alzheimer’s reversal is strong), there are certainly agreed-upon ways to at least prevent this unfortunate disease.

Rest assured, research has shed light on the remarkably simple steps one can take to stave off this life-shattering form of dementia. [1]

1. Get Better Sleep

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Studies of more than 6,000 people linked poor sleep quality to mild cognitive impairment, which can raise the risk of Alzheimer’s. This was found to be especially true for people with sleep apnea. Other research suggests that poor sleep can spark the development of the amyloid protein in the brain that is a hallmark of the disease. [2]

2. Exercise Your Brain

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We already know that working a crossword puzzle or learning a new language help keeps the seniors’ brains active, but did you know that engaging in these activities as a young age could pay off many years later in the form of a healthy mind?

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analyzed the “good” report cards and work histories of more than 7,000 older adults and found that school children as young as 10 who received good grades had a lower risk of dementia later in life. The same was found to be true of adults who went into a challenging line of work such as research or teaching.

This is because learning and complex thinking strengthen connections between nerve cells, building up “cognitive reserve,” so that as Alzheimer’s develops, the brain can handle more damage before the disease’s insidious symptoms become apparent. [2]

3. Exercise Your Body

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Physical activity defends against high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, all of which can contribute to cognitive decline later in life.

In one study, researchers who tracked the habits of 3,200 young adults for 25 years discovered that those who were the least active had the worst cognition when they reached middle-age. Sedentary activities with TV watching played a role. [2]

4. Practice Good Mental Health

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Adults who become depressed later in life are at higher risk for Alzheimer’s. According to Harvard researchers, loneliness also ups the risk. Everyone has stress, but it’s how we cope with it that makes the difference, says Dr. Richard Lipton of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Dwelling on stressful events prolongs the harmful effects on the brain. In one study, seniors with the poorest coping skills were found to be far more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment over nearly four years than seniors who could healthfully compartmentalize their stress. [2]

5. Eat Healthy

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A diet high in fruits and vegetables and lower in fat and sugar help keep the blood in the arteries that lead to the brain flowing. Excess weight can lead to diabetes, which has been shown to contribute to the risk of dementia later in life.

Dr. Lipton’s lab also found that a healthy diet lowered seniors’ risk of impaired “executive function” as they aged, impacting the way the brain pays attention, organizes, and multitasks. [2]

[1] National Institute on Aging

[2] Fox News


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About Julie Fidler:
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Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.