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CDC: Alzheimer’s, Dementia Rate to Double by 2060

In a first-ever study of its kind, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is predicting that the number of people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias will double by 2060. In real numbers, Fortune says that means the CDC projects that 417 million people in the U.S. will have Alzheimer’s and related dementias in the next 40 years. Today, Alzheimer’s is the fifth most common cause of death in the U.S.

Admittedly, there are many things we don’t know about how to stop this dreaded disease in its tracks, but just as clearly, there are many things that we do know — and that knowledge can help you do what you can to avoid it. For example, there are many controllable lifestyle changes you can make to help you reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s, beginning with considering a ketogenic diet, reducing your carb and sugar intake, getting more exercise and quality sleep, and optimizing your omega-3s.

I realize that you may wonder why I seem so insistent that the ketogenic way of life is the way to live a better, fuller life, but the truth is that it’s becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin and leptin resistance, as well as Type 2 diabetes, may also hold true for your brain. As you overindulge on grains and sugar, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of insulin. Eventually your insulin and leptin signaling become profoundly disrupted, leading to impairments in your cognitive abilities and memory.

If you need more proof, a study published in the American Diabetes Association’s journal Diabetes Care found that Type 2 diabetes is associated with a 60 percent increased risk of dementia, and research featured in The New England Journal of Medicine noted a mild elevation of blood sugar, such as a level of 105 or 110, is also associated with an elevated risk for dementia.

Another thing you can change very easily is to simply stop sitting so much. Studies show that prolong sitting is linked to memory problems in middle-aged and older adults. Not only that, it can age you as much as eight years! The best news, though, is that you can stop this aging and dementia risk by just making it a goal to stand up and move more.

When you start to work toward slashing your sitting time, you want to replace it with different types of movements and postures, not simply standing still. Fortunately, when you're standing, you're unlikely to stand completely still, at least not for long. You'll likely stretch, lean, bend and pace. You can also try to work in short exercise sessions, walking and foam rolling.

Another note: It can feel overwhelming to think about giving up your chair, but it's not an all-or-nothing proposition. Rather than focusing on not sitting, think about ways to move more and step up the pace gradually, until you’re on a regular exercise or movement program.

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