Diet, Exercise and Alzheimer's Risk

Alzheimer's-related plaque buildup may be prevented with healthy diet, exercise

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) Buildups of protein in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease may be less likely to occur in people who maintain a healthy overall lifestyle, a new study found.

More specifically, this study by University of California - Los Angeles researchers found that people who regularly exercised, ate a healthy diet and maintained a healthy body mass index (BMI) had reduced levels of plaque, deposits of a toxic protein called beta-amyloid in the spaces between the brain's nerve cells and tangles of the tau protein within the brain cells.

This was a small study that looked at 44 adults who did not have dementia but had experienced some changes in their memory. Researchers used brain scans to look for plaque and tangles in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's and asked the patients about their lifestyles.

These researchers noted that this study was among the first to demonstrate how lifestyle factors might directly influence changes in the brain in those with small changes in memory loss but have not been diagnosed with dementia. 

Alzheimer's, a form of dementia, is a progressive disease that leads to memory loss and confusion and for which there is currently no cure.

Talk to your doctor about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and how to keep your brain healthy.

This study was published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Information on funding sources and potential conflicts of interest were not available at the time of publication.


Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 19, 2016
Last Updated:
August 22, 2016