A recent study that was conducted by researchers at the University of California San Francisco found proof that healthy living can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Using mathematical equations, the researchers found that seven conditions and behaviors may directly correlate to nearly half of the reported cases of Alzheimer’s disease around the world, ABC News reports. Low education, depression, smoking, diabetes, inactivity, obesity and high blood pressure in midlife were all found to be major risk factors for developing the degenerative brain disease.
The number one risk factor for Americans is a lack of exercise. The scientists say that nearly one third of the population is sedentary, which can increase the risk of developing dementia and also restrict movement as people age. A senior medical alert can keep elderly individuals safe whether they have Alzheimer’s disease or are experiencing a loss of mobility.
On a global scale, illiteracy is such a prevalent problem that the scientists concluded it is the biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“Education, even at a young age, starts to build your neural networks,” Deborah Barnes, an associate psychiatry professor at the university and the lead researcher, told The Associated Press. A lack of education can hinder the brain’s development.