The most common source of memory, language and personality losses in the elderly is Alzheimer’s disease. There is no known cure. Recent research uncovered a new gene, which is “SORL1,” that, when functioning normally, protects against and reduces the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It is hopeful that this finding will help unravel some of the dementia’s causes associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Factors contributing to Alzheimer’s disease include:

• A family history of the disease
• Increasing age

There is growing evidence that you can reduce your chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease by:

• Improving your lifestyle and diet
• Don’t let your thinking get rusty
• Mental activity strengthens brain cells and neural connections, and may even create new nerve cells
• Stimulating leisure activities throughout a lifetime can reduce the risk of dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease
• Reading
• Writing
• Completing crossword puzzles
• Visiting museums
• Mastering a new language
• Taking new classes
• Working toward new degrees

Because the brain allows for neural connections to continue to form late in life, researchers discovered short, repeated learning sessions slowed the buildup of a protein in the brain known to lead to plaques and tangles (symptoms of Alzheimer’s.) This is a wonderful discovery in that it means humans are never too old to begin exercising the mind. Even ordinary activities performed differently, such as brushing your teeth with the opposite hand, or taking a different route to work can nourish brain cell connections.

Other helpful suggestions to lower risk of dementia include:

• A strong network of family and friends
• social activity lessens depression and reduces stress levels
volunteering for community projects
• joining a club
• traveling

According to Harvard researchers, volunteering, joining a club, or traveling can add up to four years to your life.
What is one of the best ways to care for your mind?

• Keep your heart healthy with aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise improves oxygen consumption that benefits brain functioning. Swimming, bicycling, dancing and even a brisk half hour walk each day promotes good blood flow to the brain and stimulates new brain cells. These activities lower the risk of dementia and slow down cognitive decline in individuals who already has dementia. Additional benefits of strengthening the connections between the brain and heart include:

• Reduces risk for heart attacks
• Strokes
• And diabetes

When you reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes you also protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
What is a power food that can help keep Alzheimer’s away?

• Eating an apple a day or its equivalent in drinking apple juice along with a balanced diet

According to researchers from Cornell University and the University of Massachusetts, fresh apples contain high levels of the antioxidant quercetin. Eat at least one apple a day to help protect brain cells. Other power foods to guard against Alzheimer’s disease include:

• Fresh vegetables
• Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout, and albacore tuna
• Foods rich in folate such as spinach, dry beans, peas, fortified cereals, grain products and some fruits and vegetables

Each of us may experience periods of memory loss as we age, however, a few simple lifestyle and diet changes may help to guard against the severe dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: WebMD Online

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional.

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Written by: Connie Limon. Visit us at: for more helpful information and free reprint articles about anti-aging. Visit: for a variety of free reprint articles.