How do diet, exercise, and increased cognitive activity reduce the risk of dementia? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Lifestyle factors that influence health include what you eat, how much you exercise and even simply more around, how much mental stimulation you get and how social you are, and these factors do influence your risk of developing dementia. Anja Soldan, a dementia expert at Johns Hopkins, explains what’s known about such risk reduction so far.
Soldan: How do all of these lifestyle factors reduce dementia risk? Most of them actually have little impact on Alzheimer’s disease pathology itself. Instead they appear to delay the onset of symptoms. People still develop amyloid and tau, but they’re less susceptible to their effects, they’re less likely to develop symptoms if they’re keeping their brain otherwise healthy. There’s also research suggesting that engagement in cognitive and physical activities directly increases brain connectivity and improves your vascular health. :32
And such activities are under your control. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.