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Build a Younger Brain

New research identifies markers of diseases like Alzheimer's much earlier than ever before. Protect yourself today.

When a recent Northwestern University study discovered the hallmark Alzheimer’s proteins in the brains of 20 year olds, many wondered: Is brain health a younger person's concern? 

After all, these are the youngest human brains to date in which amyloids, the signature proteins, have been found. And while the majority of people impacted by dementia and Alzheimer’s are older than 65, experts will tell you that taking action now could help prevent damage down the line. 

You may have more control than you realize, says Gary Small, M.D., author of Two Weeks to a Younger Brain: “The brain is sensitive to stimulation from moment to moment—if we are engaging certain neural circuits, they strengthen—if we neglect others, we don’t give the brain the opportunity to strengthen,” Small says. “But whether that impacts one’s risk of Alzheimer’s, we just don’t know.”

What we do know: No matter your age, there is a significant correlation between a healthy diet, regular exercise, not smoking, and having fewer memory complaints. If you're already living a healthy lifestyle, there’s more you can do to cut your risk and protect your brain, starting with the five habits below.