The statistics, unfortunately, are staggering. An estimated 44 million people worldwide are living with dementia, according to a report released Tuesday by Alzheimer’s Disease International.
But there is some good news laid out in the sixth annual World Alzheimer’s Report. For the first time, we’re starting to get a clearer understanding of cause and effect when it comes to this debilitating disease.
Here’s the takeaway, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International: What’s good for your heart is also good for your brain.
More specifically, there is now “persuasive evidence that dementia risk … can be modified through reduction in tobacco use and better control and detection for hypertension and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular risk factors.”
Alzheimer’s is No. 6 on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of the top 10 causes of death in the United States, claiming nearly 85,000 lives in 2010.
“Given this epidemic scale and with no known cure, it’s crucial that we look at what we can do to reduce the risk or delay the onset of developing the disease,” wrote Marc Wortmann, executive director of Alzheimer’s Disease International. “Governments must develop adequate strategies to deal with the epidemic holistically, including tacking both reduction in risk for future generations, and adequately caring for people living with the condition and supporting their friends and family.”
The bottom line is that it’s never too late to make some changes to improve your physical and mental well-being. Here are five things you can do right now to reduce your risk of dementia:
1. Look after your heart.
2. Be physically active.
3. Follow a healthy diet.
4. Challenge your brain.
5. Enjoy social activity. […]
Read the full story on CNN.