Does your race influence your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease? Dr. Melissa Murray, a Mayo Clinic molecular neuroscientist, says a new Mayo Clinic study shows the risk is higher in Hispanic-Americans. However, there are lifestyle choices you can make that may reduce your risks.
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"Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia."
Dr. Murray says who gets it depends on a lot of issues — your genes, race and even lifestyle.
"One of the most exciting aspects of research right now is on lifestyle risk factors."
It's exciting because research shows you may be able to delay onset or even slow progression of the disease by doing certain things.
"We have some evidence that supports that. Walking 20, 30 minutes a day; keeping your mind active, whether that's Sudoku, crosswords; having conversations; socializing; interacting with people; even dancing. Getting up and doing something different is probably what we've come to understand as one of the most important aspects, especially for decreasing your vascular risk factors."
Vascular risk factors are issues because, just like your heart, your brain has blood vessels that can develop blockages. By living a heart-healthy lifestyle that incorporates staying active, eating right and not smoking, you may reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease.