New research suggests that millions of cases of Alzheimer's disease could be prevented by curbing risk factors such as lack of exercise, high blood pressure, smoking and obesity.
U.S. researchers developed a mathematical model based on seven conditions or behaviors that account for up to half the 35 million cases of Alzheimer's around the world.
They found that globally, improving education would help the most to prevent future cases of dementia. Illiteracy keeps brains from developing as much as they should, so people have less mental reserve later in life. In the United States, sedentary lifestyles and depression would have the biggest prevention impact.
The study was discussed Tuesday at an Alzheimer's conference in France.