Mind & Mood

Protecting yourself from Alzheimer's

There is no cure, but there may be ways to reduce your risk.

By , Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

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Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia: between 60% and 80% of patients with dementia have Alzheimer's. The disease is associated with excessive accumulation of tangles and clumps of protein in and around brain cells. These tangles and clumps make it difficult for brain cells to communicate with one another and may be the reason for the cells' demise.

Scientists don't fully understand what causes some people to get Alzheimer's and others not. However, some factors, like advancing age and family history, are associated with a higher risk. Alzheimer's has no cure, so the primary focus is on slowing the disease's progress once specific biological changes are detected or early symptoms appear. In addition, recent research suggests that it's possible to lower your risk for developing Alzheimer's, no matter your age or family history.

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About the Author

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Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Matthew Solan is the executive editor of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. He previously served as executive editor for UCLA Health’s Healthy Years and as a contributor to Duke Medicine’s Health News and Weill Cornell Medical College’s … See Full Bio
View all posts by Matthew Solan

About the Reviewer

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Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Dr. Howard LeWine is a practicing internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Chief Medical Editor at Harvard Health Publishing, and editor in chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. See Full Bio
View all posts by Howard E. LeWine, MD

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As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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