7 ways to fight Alzheimer's disease

Published 6:18 AM ET, Mon December 8, 2014
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Gastrointestinal health has been linked with brain health. Incorporating fermented foods, probiotics and prebiotics into your diet could reduce your risk of dementia. Dr. Dale Bredesen of UCLA recommends having your doctor test for a "leaky" GI tract, as that can also cause inflammation. Alberto Mier/CNN
Allow three hours between dinner and bedtime, and 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. The idea behind this type of fasting, says Bredesen, is that the body begins a process during the break that may help to destroy amyloid-beta, a problematic protein that builds up in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Alberto Mier/CNN
Supplements like DHA and citicoline may help strengthen the connections between your brain's nerve cells, says Bredesen. Alberto Mier/CNN
If you consume tuna frequently, check your mercury level, since exposure to heavy metals has been associated with dementia. Patients in Dr. Dale Bredesen's pilot study, "Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program," also ditched aluminum-containing deodorants -- but studies are far from conclusive about any harm conferred by anti-perspirants. Alberto Mier/CNN
Overeating grains, starchy vegetables and sugar can generate harmful inflammation in the body and brain. Patients in Bredesen's pilot study who responded most quickly cut out simple carbohydrates. Alberto Mier/CNN
Seven to eight hours a night is ideal for the body to restore itself. Patients in Bredesen's study who had trouble staying asleep got help from melatonin supplements or tryptophan, a chemical you likely know is found in turkey. Alberto Mier/CNN
Scientists know the stress hormone cortisol can damage the hippocampus, a memory center in the brain. Bredesen says hormone replacement therapy may help women who have an imbalance that affects their brain function. Alberto Mier/CNN