As Dr Alf knows, it is very much a case of using it or lose it, which is why he uses Luminosity brain training, blogging, international travel and other activities to keep mentally alert.
I try to do it by tracking more than 117 websites, work, networking, speed reading, learning new things, travel and applying stoicism and enabling philosophies to help.
There are no guarantees, of course, but the evidence is clear, there are things that can be done both by people and by health services to reduce dementia and the onset of Alzheimer’s.
My late father got dementia after becoming deeply depressed at the death of my late mother and then suffering a stroke. Prior to that at the age of 57 he dealt badly with redundancy by consuming too much red wine and not engaging with people.
The cycle is all too easy to spot.
People devour fish and chips and unhealthy food and anything which is cooked by themselves is prepared in aluminium saucepans which cause dementia despite intense lobbying from the aluminium industry to prove otherwise.
People drink on an empty stomach, knock all the vitamins out of their bodies, go to the doctor saying that they are depressed and then get prescribed Prozac and Seroxat. They continue to drink, eat badly and thus require more serotonin uptake drugs. They become obese, unattractive to themselves, to employers, to potential and often existing partners then get to the point where they feel depressed, sorry for themselves and are unable to exercise or if they have a partner they often succumb to problems with holding and maintaining erections and other similar maladies.
If that doesn’t make people prone to depression and dementia, carbon monoxide ingested through car ventilation systems will do the job unless the system is placed on air recirculate mode which I do in my Mercedes at all times especially in traffic jams and at toll booths until I have to pay the toll.
Living close to a major airport or under the aircraft flight paths of one will give you dementia due to the ingestion of antimony in aircraft fuel.
The same is true of people who live near major motorways, which are not lined with pollution capturing trees and people who live downwind of incinerators which produce dioxins.
Being close to wooded areas, Fica plants which cleanse the air, exposing oneself to uplifting environments, scenes and people, listening to good music which uplifts the soul are also helpful.