The 5 best ways to cut your risk of dementia

Know your numbers

There is no one-size-fits-all program to prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia. Rather, the first step is exploring with your doctor whether you have known risk factors, such as being overweight, having high blood sugar or cholesterol, getting too little exercise or sleep, or eating a poor diet.

Your genes can play a role in determining whether or not you will get Alzheimer’s, but even that risk factor many not produce an inevitable result.

For example, people with certain mutations on a gene known as APOE tend to be at higher risk for vascular diseases and Alzheimer’s. “But if they do everything right from a lifestyle perspective, those patients may even respond preferentially because it’s a cholesterol gene and we can improve cholesterol and metabolism,” says Richard Isaacson, the director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at the Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program in New York.

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