Of the seven factors, low education and and lack of mental stimulation are considered the most significant
By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Playing chess in old age and going jogging or swimming could be the best preventative measures against the development of the degenerative Alzheimer’s disease that affects one in 14 people aged 65 or over.
Along with five other factors – controlling weight, blood pressure and diabetes, avoiding depression and quitting smoking – keeping mentally and physically fit could dramatically cut the incidence of dementia, which is becoming a major human and financial burden around the globe. Mental and physical exercise are most important because they influence the others, by keeping weight and blood pressure down, reducing the risk of diabetes and depression.
People who can do all this and avoid smoking substantially reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Worldwide, an estimated 33.9 million people have the condition and that number is expected to triple in the next 40 years.