Preventing Alzheimer's disease 

As the exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is still unknown, there is no way to prevent the condition. However, there are some steps you can take that may help to delay the onset of dementia.

Reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease (disease of the heart or blood vessels) has been linked with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.

You may be able to reduce your risk of developing these conditions – as well as other serious problems, such as strokes and heart attacks – by taking steps to improve your cardiovascular health, including: 

Read more about preventing dementia.

Staying mentally active

There is some evidence to suggest that rates of dementia are lower in people who remain as mentally, physically and socially active as possible throughout their lives, as well as among those who enjoy a wide range of different activities and hobbies.

It may possible to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia by:

  • reading
  • writing for pleasure
  • learning foreign languages
  • playing musical instruments
  • taking part in adult education courses
  • playing tennis
  • playing golf
  • swimming
  • group sports, such as bowling
  • walking

However, there is currently no clear evidence that suggests playing "brain training" computer games reduces the risk of dementia.

Future research

Research into Alzheimer's disease is continuing. As more is revealed about the condition, other ways to treat or prevent it may be found.

You can read more information about ongoing dementia research on the Alzheimer's Research UK website.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has advised that there is not currently evidence to support the use of the following to prevent dementia:

Mental health at 60-plus

Find out how we can maintain our health as we get older, including advice from members of the public.

Media last reviewed: 21/09/2014

Next review due: 21/09/2016

Is there a cure for dementia?

There is currently no cure for dementia, but research into the disease is helping improve standards of care in the meantime

Page last reviewed: 26/03/2014

Next review due: 26/03/2016