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Exercise and a healthy diet may keep you trim but it may keep your mind sharp as well.

Even if you carry genes that predispose you to Alzheimer's British researchers say a healthy lifestyle can minimize the risk of developing the disease

COLUMBIA, S.C. — This promising news follows details of clinical trials recently stopped because of disappointing data.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia.  Dementia is not a specific disease but is rather a general term for the impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities

According to the CDC over five  million Americans are living with the disease that is still poorly understood by many scientists.  They agree there probably is not one single cause, but several factors including age, genetics/family history, and some of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke may also increase the risk.

There is currently no known cure, but medications and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms. However, a growing body of evidence suggests the way you live can potentially lower your risk.

British researchers analyzed data from over 200,000 adults in the U.K. They determined participants' genetic risk for dementia and their overall lifestyle quality, and then, after looking at the numbers, they found that a healthy diet, regular physical activity, no smoking, and moderate alcohol consumption (e.g., a 5 oz glass of wine a day for women) were the most consistent "healthy behaviors" associated with reduced dementia risk across all genetic risk groups.

This study, recently published in the medical journal JAMA along with other research looking at the impact of lifestyle factors on dementia, is being presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference this week.

This is the first study to analyze the extent to which someone may offset the genetic risks of dementia by living a healthy lifestyle.  According to the study authors this is positive information for everyone especially people with a family history of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

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