Here’s an interesting post to read about assessing and possibly reducing your risk of age-related cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia.
Some questions posed there:
Do you have ongoing stress in your life, or have experienced significant amounts of stress at some period during middle-age?
Do you rarely engage in exercise?
Do you spend most evenings blobbed out in front of the TV?
Reading through the possible risk factors you see some that you can’t control, such as genes and family history and your early childhood circumstances (for instance if you grew up in a very stressful home), but the list also emphasizes modifiable risk factors: amount of exercise, drinking habits, sleep habits, mental stimulation, etc. How all of those interact is still an open question. But when you think about it there never seems to be one trick, one magic way (or magic pill), that improves your long-term cognitive and physical health (which are closely intertwined). Instead it’s about making your life as healthy as possible all around, in multiple areas.