Alzheimer's less preventable than previously thought

A Cambridge University study says Alzheimer’s may be preventable in about one-third of patients. That's a drop from previous estimates that as many as 50 per cent of Alzheimer's cases could be prevented by lifestyle behavior. The change in the estimate was made because an earlier study treated risk factors separately, which caused researchers to overestimate the number of preventable cases.

So, what can people do to reduce their chances of developing Alzheimer's? Researchers believe people can lower their risk by making certain lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, following a healthy diet and exercising more frequently.

The UK researchers analyzed previous studies and seven lifestyle aspects related to Alzheimer’s: diabetes, hypertension, obesity, physical activity levels, smoking, depression and lack of education. They found that worldwide the highest Alzheimer’s risk factor is poor education, but that in the U.S. and Europe, it's lack of physical activity. They estimated that a reduction in each  of the seven risk factors by 10 percent could lower the Alzheimer's rate around the world by 8.5 percent. That would mean that as many as 9 millon fewer people would develop the debilitating illness.

There remains no cure for Alzheimer's.

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