• By Vivien Williams

Mayo Clinic Minute: 3 tips to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

June 4, 2019

In mid-May, the World Health Organization (WHO) released guidelines  to help people reduce their risk of cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, was part of the panel of experts who created the guidelines.

"The WHO guidelines are primarily intended to instruct people, doctors, societies on what they can do with their lifestyle to reduce the likelihood of developing cognitive impairment in the future," Dr. Petersen says.

He outlines three tips that can help you reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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"There are a few things that we can do that maybe will not, say, prevent Alzheimer's disease definitively but may delay its onset and slow its progression if it develops," says Dr. Petersen.

No. 1 is physical activity.

"If you exercise moderately — aerobic exercise — and by that, we mean maybe 150 minutes a week. So 50 minutes three times or 30 minutes five times. Vigorous walking, swimming, jogging, if you're up to it," says Dr. Petersen.

No. 2 is staying intellectually active. And No. 3 is diet. He says that most people recommend the Mediterranean diet. Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables, fish, healthy oils like olive oil, whole grains, and less meat and saturated fat.

"As we gain more information about our lifestyle over our general health, I think it's important to realize that the brain is also in that picture," says Dr. Petersen.

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