Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: What Do We Know?

So, What Can You Do?

You can do many things that may keep your brain healthy and your body fit—and help scientists find ways to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Stay Healthy

Many actions lower the risk of chronic diseases and boost overall health and well-being. As we learn more about the role they may play in Alzheimer’s disease risk, health experts encourage all adults to:

  • exercise regularly
  • eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • engage in social and intellectually stimulating activities
  • control type 2 diabetes
  • lower high blood pressure levels
  • lower high blood cholesterol levels
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • stop smoking
  • get treatment for depression

Scientists do not yet know if these healthy habits can directly prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease or age-related cognitive decline. As research continues, it’s important to note the many benefits these habits have for overall health and well-being.

Participate in Research

Whether or not you have signs of Alzheimer’s, you can take one more important action—volunteer to participate in clinical trials and studies. Volunteers want to make a valuable contribution that will help scientists, people with Alzheimer’s, and their families. People who participate in this kind of research also have regular contact with medical experts who have lots of experience and a broad perspective on the disease.

To learn more about clinical trials or to find study sites near you, contact the NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Educa­tion and Referral (ADEAR) Center at 1-800-438-4380 or visit www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/clinical-trials.

A Word of Caution

Because Alzheimer’s disease is so devastating, some people are tempted by untried or unproven “cures.” Check with your doctor before trying pills or any other treatment or supplement that promises to prevent Alzheimer’s. These “treatments” might be unsafe, a waste of money, or both. They might even interfere with other medical treatments that have been prescribed.

Watch a video about Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials:

Publication Date: September 2012
Page Last Updated: March 21, 2014