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If you need proof that there are reasons to feel optimistic about Alzheimer's, consider Richard Isaacson's job title. Isaacson, MD, is director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian: Simply seeing Alzheimer's and prevention next to each other is a sign of significant progress. Fifteen years ago, Isaacson points out, research efforts were focused on finding a cure. While that mission continues, science has since revealed game-changing clues as to how we might be able to protect ourselves. The biggie is the discovery that Alzheimer's can begin in the brain up to three decades before the first signs of cognitive problems. That slow build means you have time to reduce your risk of developing the disease—or, at the very least, delay it—even if you have a genetic predisposition. “We believe if people started taking preventive lifestyle measures, we could potentially decrease the incidence of Alzheimer's by about 30 percent,” says Bruce Miller, MD, director of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center. Here's how to be proactive:
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.