Ron Prescott Reagan, 63, President Ronald Reagan's son, may be the political opposite of his conservative father, but one thing he and his dad have in common is a familial risk for dementia.
President Reagan had Alzheimer's for 10 years when he died in 2004 at age 93. And a new study says if you don't adopt dementia-defeating habits, having an immediate family member with dementia ups your risk for the disorder by 78% compared to folks with no close relative who has been affected.
The good news: A study published in the journal Circulation identified six lifestyle habits that can go a long way toward preventing dementia — even for those with increased familial risk.
The researchers followed 302,239 men and women around age 60 for eight years. People with a familial predisposition for dementia cut their risk by adopting at least three of the healthy behaviors, and more healthy habits provided additional protection.
1. Not having obesity.
2. Getting 150 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous activity each week.
3. Regularly sleeping six to nine hours a night.
4. Consuming two (for men) or one (for women) alcoholic drinks a day or less a day.
5. Not smoking.
6. Eating a plant-based diet and skipping refined grains and processed meats.