Alzheimer’s Dementia and Lifestyle: Towards a Primary Prevention

  • Harald Walach
  • Martin Loef


The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is predicted to rise as life expectation grows across populations. The cause of the disease is unknown, and very likely multifactorial. Pharmacological attempts have been unsuccessful, and a pharmacological magic bullet is unlikely to be found. This raises the question how lifestyles, especially our modern way of life, contributes to the risk, and how this might be prevented through lifestyle measures. We have conducted a series of systematic reviews of the literature and describe here important lifestyle elements that have some support in favor of them. These are: avoiding toxins, especially heavy metals; a diet emphasizing a good balance of essential fatty acids, a reduction of intake of easily degradable carbohydrates and diet rich in antioxidants; physical exercise and a culture of consciousness, including healthy social relationships. The challenge of the future will be to find a way of individual lifestyle counseling that respects the eminently individual way how lifestyles are realized as genuine expressions of individual choices.


Cognitive Decline Default Mode Network Homocysteine Level Amyloid Beta Green Leafy Vegetable 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work is supported by the Samueli Institute’s Brain, Mind and Healing Program, whose European operations HW is coordinating. ML has been supported by the Samueli Institute and the Hans Gottschalk-Stiftung.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Transcultural Health Studies and Samueli InstituteEuropean Office, European University ViadrinaFrankfurt (Oder)Germany

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