Senior women sitting at a table and solve crosswords.Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia, is a disease of the brain that leads to loss of memory and function due to damaged and dying brain cells. The early symptoms include forgetfulness, lack of focus, trouble with decision-making, confusion and poor judgement.

Currently, doctors can only provide ways to help delay its progression and severity. But recent research has shown a few ways to prevent dementia. Aside from maintaining a daily exercise regime, healthy blood pressure, and healthy dietary fat and sugar levels, two additional measures can be used to help prevent the disease.

As much as possible, avoid chronic emotional distress, which can trigger dementia symptoms. Toxic levels of stress have been shown to shrink the hippocampus, where memories are stored.

Keep your brain busy and stimulated — in line with the “use it or lose it” adage. One must continually engage in and practice an ability or risk losing it. That applies to mental activity as well. A study revealed strong evidence that retiring early can speed up the onset of dementia, but showed a significant decrease in the risk of developing dementia with retirement at an older age. For example, there was a 14 percent reduction in Alzheimer’s in workers who retired at 65 over those who retired at 60 . There is no cure, yet, so the best treatment is to avoid stress and stay active.

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