Speed Reads


Diet and exercise are surprisingly effective in preventing Alzheimer's

A breakthrough study presented at this year's Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Denmark has found that diet and exercise have a clear effect in preventing Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The study's lead researcher, Dr. Mila Kivipelto of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, worked with 1,260 participants in danger of developing dementia to see whether exercise and healthy eating could help them avoid cognitive decline. Half of the study's participants were assigned "normal health care," Time reports, while the other half underwent a lifestyle "makeover" that included "both group and individual nutrition advice, an exercise trainer, and a nurse or physician who made sure they took their medications." Kivipelto found that just two years of these lifestyle changes caused drastic improvement in mental functions and cognitive ability.

"These findings show that prevention is possible and that it may be good to start early," Dr. Kivipelto told Time. "With so many negative trials for Alzheimer’s drugs reported lately, it's good that we may have something that everyone can do now to lower their risk."