Multiple studies on Alzheimer's disease have revealed common findings regarding prevention. Researchers from the San Francisco VA Medical Center have reviewed data from thousands of Alzheimer's patients across the globe and have found that more than half of all cases are preventable.
Deborah Barnes, Ph.D., and her colleagues have compiled a list of what they believe to be the most avoidable causes of the disease. Many of these factors could be prevented by making positive lifestyle changes, such as physical activity, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. According to Barnes, these variables play a large role in 51 percent of Alzheimer's cases worldwide and 54 percent in the U.S.
"What's exciting is that this suggests that some very simple lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and quitting smoking, could have a tremendous impact on preventing Alzheimer's and other dementias in the United States and worldwide," said Barnes.
The Alzheimer's Association reports that the disease is currently the sixth-leading cause of death in the country, and the only one among the top 10 that cannot be cured or even slowed.