Business Insider spoke with Dr. Maria Carrillo, chief scientific officer of the Alzheimer's Association, to get her take on all the research coming out on how lifestyle, particularly eating habits and fitness, affect Alzheimer's. The short answer ...
It seems almost every day
there is a new study that suggests that eating a certain fruit
could be the key to staving off Alzheimer's disease, the
degenerative disease marked by loss of memory.
broccoli, there have been countless studies evaluating the
role that lifestyle choices play in Alzheimer's treatment and
But these studies - and the subsequent headlines that come out of
them - don't often tell the whole story and may even exaggerate
the benefits of these foods.
Business Insider spoke with Dr. Maria Carrillo, chief scientific
officer of the Alzheimer's Association, to get her take on all of
the research coming out on how lifestyle, particularly eating
habits and fitness, affect Alzheimer's.
The short answer?
"Have fun, eat healthy meals that are
good for you, and you may end up helping your brain as well as
your heart," she said.
The same good eating and fitness habits that are associated with
risk of heart problems also seem to have a connection to
mental health, she said. It's just not one "silver bullet" - you
can stock up on blueberries all you want, but it might not have
that much of an impact if it's paired with an otherwise unhealthy
"The strongest conclusions are that physical activity monitoring
and cardiovascular health may help prevent Alzheimer's," Carrillo
said. Though, "It's a 'may,' because we don't know."
There are very few treatments for Alzheimer's, and none are able
to reverse the effects - they just treat the symptoms of the
disease. Thinking about ways lifestyle can play a role, Carrillo
said, will be integral to treating patients living with
"Ultimately, a combination of lifestyle with a pharmaceutical
will be the way we treat this disease," she said.
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