Massachusetts General Hospital

Simple Steps Could Help Prevent Alzheimer's, New Local Study Says

A new study from Massachusetts General Hospital is now focused on inflammation as a target

Local researchers are providing new hope in the fight against Alzheimer’s after a new study from Massachusetts General Hospital finds there are some simple steps that could help prevent the disease.

Kahn Obrien, like so many Americans, is struggling to take care of a father with Alzheimer’s.

“Growing up, he was the life of the party. Class clown," Obrien said of his dad. "And now, I just look at him, my hero, and just cry.”

After so many drug failures, now scientists have a promising new target: inflammation.

“So this is what a healthy brain should look like," said MGH Dr. Rudy Tanzi. "But when there’s inflammation and disease, the nerve cells are wiped out. Decimated. Just threads of them left.”

Dr. Tanzi discovered inflammation kills millions of nerve cells, shutting down the area responsible for thinking and memory. He says there are things you can do now to fight inflammation.

"Sleep helps clean out the brain. Exercise helps grow new nerve cells in the brain. Diet helps your bacteria and your gut to help your brain,” he shared.

New studies suggest lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 60-percent.

Dr. Tanzi says you could protext yourself with the “SHIELD”: Sleep, Handle stress, Interact with friends, Exercise daily, Learn new things, and eat a health Diet.

“I want to stay healthy," Obrien said. "I hope I’m never in my dad’s shoes.”

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