Research on the genetic risk of dementia and the influence of lifestyle habits indicates that no matter how high a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s may be, if they improve their lifestyle, they can significantly reduce it. These good habits are usually recommended, above all, by cardiologists, but it is becoming increasingly evident that they also serve to prevent other problems; in this case, referring to brain health. The seven easy lifestyle habits are to eat healthy, not be overweight, not smoke, be physically active, control cholesterol and blood pressure, and lower blood sugar.
More than 11,000 people have been followed for almost three decades, when the participants were between 45 and 65 years old, the results indicate that fewer Alzheimer’s patients are obtained than could be expected 30 years ago, and that without having to no treatment. Decreasing the vascular load, which is the only thing that has changed in this time, has meant that the projections of what was expected have dropped by about 20%.
These habits must be taken in the middle ages of life, it is not worth starting at 70 years of age, it must be done around 40 or 50, which is when damage begins to accumulate in the brain. The most important thing that can be done is to practice sports, not be sedentary, not smoke, not be overweight and, if you have high cholesterol, take the necessary measures. All of this we often hear is important for the heart, it is also important for neurological diseases and dementia in particular.
The peak incidence of this disease is around 75 or 80 years, but not all people who reach that age will have cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s, each year some 40,000 new cases of Alzheimer’s are diagnosed. Between 3% and 4% of the population between 75 and 79 years old is diagnosed. In those over 85 years of age, the figure reaches 34%, and almost 40% in those over 90 years of age.
I don’t know about you, but if there are or were people in your family who suffered from this disease, it’s like wondering if you can do something to avoid getting into the same circumstances. What this study tells us is that by leading a life with a more adequate diet and avoiding vascular risk factors and tobacco, the probability of having Alzheimer’s is reduced, even if they have a family risk. By modifying your lifestyle, you are taking care of your brain for when you reach the age at which it is due. So we have to exercise and everything with measure without excesses!