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Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away and die. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is a term used to describe a group of symptoms that affect memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily function.
Early signs of the disease may be forgetting recent events or conversations. As the disease progresses, a person with Alzheimer's disease will develop severe memory impairment and lose the ability to carry out everyday tasks.
There are no proven Alzheimer's prevention strategies, but population-based studies suggest that factors associated with overall good health also may reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. These factors include regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet and keeping your brain active through lifelong learning.
More research is needed before any of these factors can be considered a proven strategy to prevent the disease, but you can learn more from Dr. Jonathan Graff-Radford, a Mayo Clinic neurologist, about lifestyle choices that promote good overall health and may lower your risk of Alzheimer's disease.