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Medical Matters and Aging Seniors

Protecting against cognitive decline

This article was posted on Harvard Health Publishing

While there’s currently no treatment that can prevent or cure dementia, researchers have identified some factors that may help protect you from cognitive decline.

Exercise

Exercise offers an impressive array of health benefits. It helps prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes; lowers the risk for high blood pressure, colon cancer, and breast cancer; and helps relieve insomnia, anxiety, and depression. In addition, it may help ward off cognitive decline and dementia. Plus, some studies have shown that engaging in a program of regular exercise improved cognitive function in people who already had memory problems. Exercise may be particularly advantageous for people who carry the APOE4 gene variant, which makes people more susceptible to Alzheimer’s.

A Mediterranean-style diet

A Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil, and includes moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and dairy products, while limiting red meat. This eating pattern has long been recognized as promoting better cardiovascular health ,lowering the risk of certain cancers, and may protect against cognitive