It's normal to develop some mild forgetfulness as you get older. Dementia, in contrast, is a disease of the brain that severely reduces memory and thinking skills. It can eventually cause a decreased ability to do daily tasks such as driving, shopping or even talking to a friend. Alzheimer's Disease is the most common type of dementia. It gradually gets worse over many years. While it has many risk factors - including age, genetics, environment, lifestyle - the importance of each factor varies between individuals.
It's not known what can definitely prevent Alzheimer's. But we do know how you can reduce the risks. As it happens, they're the same things that decrease diabetes, heart disease and cancer risk - a healthy diet and weight, regular exercise, not smoking. Keeping your brain active, also reduces your risk. Recommended activities include social engagement such as work, volunteering or living with someone. Also mental stimulation such as lectures and reading books and magazines.