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Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Andrew Weil, M.D.

Alzheimer's

Memory loss can occur for a variety of reasons. Some loss of memory with aging is natural - it is normal to experience short-term forgetfulness, such as the inability to remember a person's name you met recently. Memory loss that is not a normal part of aging is called dementia. The most common form is Alzheimer's disease. Also common is multi-infarct dementia caused by successive strokes that gradually destroy brain tissue. Memory loss may also result from alcoholism, infection, or repeated head trauma.

What can I do to prevent mild memory loss?

  1. Exercise your mind.
  2. Exercise your body.
  3. Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids
  4. Avoid alcohol.
  5. De-stress.
  6. Take a multivitamin.

What can you do to prevent dementia?

The steps listed above for preventing mild memory loss will also help you establish a reserve against dementia. Some additional preventive measures include the following:

  1. Consider a daily aspirin. Some studies link the use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) with reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.
  2. Maintain a positive attitude. A positive emotional state may help ward off cognitive decline, according to a study of nuns and mental function. Social ties, involvement in church and community and meaningful relationships all seem to be protective.
  3. Keep your blood pressure down. High blood pressure is the strongest risk factor for multi-infarct dementia.