Steps You Can Take to Lower Your Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

woman doing a crossword puzzleThere are currently 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease, a progressive neurological condition that affects memory, behavior and the ability to carry out everyday tasks. There are no known cures for the disease, and even slowing its progression has proven to be quite difficult.

For the most part, researchers believe that this form of dementia can be genetic or related to environmental or lifestyle factors. Genes and surroundings can be difficult to control, but your diet, as well as your physical and mental exercise, are pretty easy to modify and may make a difference in your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Studies link poor health to Alzheimer's

Some research links an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle to the onset of dementia. The following are just a few examples of such studies.

One piece of research conducted at Japan's Kyushu University and published last year in the journal Neurology indicated that high cholesterol levels may increase a person's risk of Alzheimer's disease. Authors of the study observed more than 2,500 subjects between the ages of 40 and 79 and followed them from 10 to 15 years. The scientists discovered that 86 percent of individuals with high cholesterol had brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's, compared to 62 percent of people with lower blood lipid levels.