Habits to Lower Alzheimer’s Disease Risks

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

This Huffington Post article provides a good summary of recent research findings pointing to habits one may want follow to lower risks of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. These habits include a mix of activities that keep your body moving (such as walking) and your brain working (such as puzzles and brain games). An interesting point made in the article is that there is no quick and easy way to keep the brain fit. Brain exercise has to be regular and varied.

Regular Brain Exercise. The same way one does not expect to build muscle strength by going to the gym once a month, one should not expect to find a miracle nutrient, pill or brain training program that can be ingested or performed once in a while and would nurture and protect the brain.
Brain exercise has to be incorporated into daily life, it has to become a habit. This can be done by regularly participating in intellectually challenging activities (such as reading, playing board or card games, participating in group discussion, or any activities that involve learning). Using a brain training software or paper-based brain exercises is also an option, as long as it is done on a regular basis.

Varied Brain Exercise. The same way one does not expect to build overall body strength by merely doing biceps contractions, one should not expect to build up brain power and reserve by merely doing crossword puzzles.
There are many brain functions that allow us to live our life happily and efficiently (language, memory but also, attention, reasoning, emotion regulation, etc.). The functions are distributed across the whole brain. To keep the brain fit we thus need to find varied activities (crosswords puzzles but also painting, reading, playing an instrument, meditating, gardening, volunteering, etc.) that will involve all these functions. As we perform these activities, the underlying brain functions will be stimulated and kept in good running order.

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One comment on “Habits to Lower Alzheimer’s Disease Risks

  1. Leonard Marks on said:

    great post

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