What the Latest Alzheimer's Study Means to You

By Dr. Marie Pasinski / genConnect.com

New research shows you may have more control than you think over whether you fall victim to Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that about half of the risk factors for Alzheimer's are potentially changeable, which means a shift in your lifestyle could reduce your risk. Factors that increase one's risk for Alzheimer's that you have control to fix include: diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, sedentary behavior, depression and low educational level.

In the United States physical inactivity accounts for 21 percent of the risk for Alzheimer's, followed by depression and smoking. This may mean many Americans could reduce their risk on their own.

We reached out to Dr. Marie Pasinski, a world-class neurologist and author of Beautiful Brain, Beautiful You: Look Radiant From the Inside Out by Empowering Your Mind, to get her thoughts on this promising new research.

"This is important research with a very empowering message," Pasinski said. "It supports the idea that the way we use our brain and care for our brain can reduce our risk of Alzheimer's disease. It is empowering to realize that the lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis may well determine our likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease.

"The study looked at seven potentially modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer's, including: diabetes, midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, smoking, depression, cognitive inactivity, low educational attainment and physical inactivity. Of these, physical inactivity was the most significant potential risk factor for Alzheimer's disease in the United States and the third largest worldwide. This may be due to the fact that physical inactivity is associated with diabetes, hypertension and obesity, which in and of themselves are also risk factors for dementia. All of these conditions (diabetes, hypertension and obesity) are associated with atherosclerosis which results in diminished blood flow to the brain."

Click here for more on the study and Dr. Pasinski's expert views.

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