Because the causes are unknown, there are currently no guidelines for reducing your risk of Alzheimer disease.

Scientists are studying medications and lifestyle factors that may help. Diet, mental activity, and exercise may play a role in brain health. For example:

  • Regular exercise and social engagement may decrease the risk of developing dementia.
  • There is some evidence that the Mediterranean diet may help lower your risk of Alzheimer disease, as well. This diet includes foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds, olive oil, and fish.
  • Drinking alcohol may be beneficial, but it is drinking in moderation, 1 drink or less per day for women, 2 drinks per day or less for men. If you do not drink, you do not have to start to get any benefits. Drinking excessive alcohol is associated with worsening of memory and increased risk of dementia.

Control of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes may help to reduce your risk. In addition, some researchers have argued that long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can lower the risk.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been studied in Alzheimer prevention but research is unclear, in fact, some studies have shown an increased risk of Alzheimer with HRT. As our understanding of Alzheimer disease grows, your doctor may have more information regarding steps for reducing your risk as you age. Studies are ongoing to allow us to better understand the risk factors for Alzheimer disease.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2017 -
  • Update Date: 09/17/2014 -