These Lifestyle Changes May Help Protect the Brain As You Age

1. SHORE UP YOUR HEART - Of all things you can do, reducing the risk of heart disease has the strongest evidence of benefits for the brain.  That means treating hypertension, high lipids, cholesterol, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

2. EMPHASIZE EXERCISE - Physical activity reduces the risk and severity of cognitive decline.  Aerobic exercise has been shown to grow the volume of certain brain regions that tend to shrink during aging.

3. LEARN NEW THINGS - Engaging intellectually with the world across a lifetime, through activities like writing letters and reading, has been linked in brain autopsies to better cognitive health in old age.

4. BE SOCIAL - Richer social lives are associated with higher levels of cognition.  Loneliness, conversely, is connected with poorer brain health.

5 TREAT DEPRESSION - Depression is middle age - which is when it is most prevalent - is linked to twice the risk of cognitive decline, though its not clear if that's a cause or an effect.

6. SLEEP WELL  Studies have found a relationship between poor sleep and cognitive decline and Alzheimer's.  Improved sleep may reduce these risks.

 

Source:  TIME MAGAZINE- THE SCIENCE OF ALZHEIMER'S - WHAT IT IS HOW IT TOUCHES US - HOPE