Studies show that adults who participate in more brain-based hobbies and activities decrease their chance of developing Alzheimer’s later in life. This is due to the depositing of amyloid on the brain, which forms a plaque that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. This disease has largely been a mystery to health researchers and professionals, but they are beginning to piece together the commonalities between what Alzheimer’s patient’s brains look like. Adults who maintained consistent cognitive activity had the least amount of beta amyloid on their brain, which shows the very likely possibility that keeping the mind active helps prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. These activities include crossword puzzles and other mind games, reading, and education. Other links between decreased risk of Alzheimer’s include regular physical activity and regular social interaction.
Dr. Paul D. Nussbaum is a clinical neuropsychologist, and the chairman of the Board for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. He outlines five areas that he considers equally important in brain health:
1. Nutrition–especially the consumption of fatty fish containing Omega-3
2. Physical activity–promotes increased blood flow to brain
3. Socialization– stay social and connected in the community
4. Mental Stimulation– as discussed above
5. Spirituality– being able to turn inward and become focused, rather than stressed
For more information about Alzheimer’s prevention, see here