Recently a friend sent me an overview of Jean Carper’s book, “100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Loss”. Even though it was published in 2010, the review was a good summary of the top ten things you can do to prevent Alzhiemer’s disease so I thought I would share it. For those of you not familiar with Jean Carper, she is a New York Times best-selling author and was a senior medical correspondent for CNN. She has written and published many articles for The Reader’s Digest and The Washington Post. Jean wrote the book after discovering that she carries a major gene for Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve summarized her top ten strategies:
1. Drink coffee – Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day cuts Alzheimer’s disease by 65%. Read a previous blog
2. Floss – periodontal disease before the age of 35 increases fourfold the odds of dementia in later years. To read the research click here.
3. Surf the Net – online searching can stimulate your aging brain, says UCLA’s Gary Small. The idea is that learning is good for you and the internet is helping to rewire our brain. Click here to read more.
4. Grow new brain cells – to generate new brain cells and keep them alive you need both physical and mental exercise. Avoid chronic stress and sleep deprivation. For more about sleep, click here.
5. Drink apple juice – apple juice can improve production of acetylcholine – the “memory chemical”. See the research.
6. Protect your head – even mild head injuries can increase the odds of dementia. Pro football players have 19 times the typical rate of memory-related diseases. Read more.
7. Meditate – studies show that those who meditate have less cognitive decline and brain shrinkage. Read Dr. Newberg’s research – Meditation Effects on Cognitive Function
8. Take Vitamin D – a ‘severe’ deficiency of Vitamin D boosts the risk of cognitive impairment by 394%. To read a review of this study, click here.
9. Increase your cognitive reserve – A rich accumulation of life experiences – education, marriage, socializing, language skills, physical activity, mentally demanding leisure activities, a sense of purpose in life all add up to an increased cognitive reserve.
10. Avoid Infection – infections such as cold sores may be implicated in up to 60% of Alzheimer’s cases. To read Ruth Itzhaki’s research click here.