While there isn’t a cure yet for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, dementia rates have fallen drastically over the past two decades.1

More than 5,000 participants in the famous intergenerational Framingham Heart Study have been monitored for dementia since 1975. Since that time, rates among this group have fallen an average 20 percent every decade since monitoring began.2

Researchers point to changes in lifestyle as a contributing factor to the decline. In fact, they found that people at risk for dementia can delay — and even prevent — the disorder by keeping their heart and mind healthy, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.3

Here are some ways in which you can help slow down the progression of dementia:

  • A strong heart also means a healthy mind. Those who focused on weight loss, exercise and a diet rich in fruit, veggies and lean protein reduced their chances of heart disease and dementia.4
  • Cut back on your vices. Stop smoking, avoid second-hand smoke and limit your alcohol intake to reduce your risk of heart disease and, as a result, dementia.5
  • Keep your mind going. If you stay mentally engaged, as well as socially active, you can build your brain muscles to help your memory.6
  • Interestingly enough, researchers discovered that those who pursued a higher education can also protect against dementia.7
  • Take steps to avoid injuries that could lead to head trauma. Use a helmet when participating in activities; wear a seat belt when in a car and make sure your house is “fall-proof.”8

Researchers acknowledge that there’s still much to learn about dementia. But healthy lifestyle choices can play an important role in reducing dementia rates.

This portion of the Teladoc website occasionally offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is provided solely for educational purposes only. You cannot rely on any information provided here as a substitute for or replacement of professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Teladoc cannot assure that the information contained on this site always includes the most recent findings or developments with respect to the particular subject matter covered.

If you ever have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

If you are in the United States and think you are having a medical or health emergency, call your health care professional, or 911, immediately.

1. http://qz.com/666743/dementia-rates-are-falling-dramatically-but-only-for-one-gender/

2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160211082311.htm

3. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/aging/some-good-news-dementia-rates-might-be-going-down-n516176

4. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/decline-in-dementia-rate-offers-cautious-hope-201603099251

5. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia/alzheimers-and-dementia-prevention.htm

6. http://www.mempowered.com/dementia/mental-stimulation

7. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/02/10/study-finds-dementia-rates-decline/80016390/

8. http://www.alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_prevention_and_risk.asp#what

The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving. While we are continuously reviewing and updating our content, some of the information in this article may not reflect the most up-to-date scientific information. Please visit the online resources provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news, or reach out to Teladoc to speak with one of our board-certified physicians.