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Sean Cate
Sean Cate
June 21, 2024 ·  3 min read

Dementia Experts Say You Should Follow These 7 Rules to Keep Your Mind Sharp 

Dementia, characterized by symptoms such as memory loss, cognitive impairment, and psychological changes, affects over 55 million people worldwide, with about 10 million new cases each year.1 Maintaining brain health is crucial to prevent the onset of dementia. Experts have identified several strategies that can help keep your mind sharp as you age. Here are seven rules recommended by dementia specialists:

1. Regular Exercise

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Regular physical activity is essential for brain health. Exercise improves blood flow to the brain, reducing the risk of dementia. It helps manage stress and anxiety, and it sharpens memory by enhancing the brain’s plasticity. Activities like walking, dancing, and gardening are effective and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine.

Expert Insight

“Physical exercise is important to ensure healthy arteries and adequate blood flow to the brain, and also reduces the risk for falls which can lead to head trauma,” explains Dr. Zaldy Tan.

Read More: A Father Was Diagnosed With Dementia and Medicare’s Response Was Just Bizarre

2. Engage in Mental Challenges

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Keeping your brain active by learning new skills can promote neuroplasticity, allowing the brain to adapt and grow. A growing brain is a brain that doesn’t have dementia. Engaging in brain games, picking up a new hobby, or learning a new language can stimulate cognitive function.

Expert Insight

“When determining whether an activity can have some cognitive benefit, what’s most important is that you are challenged and learning,” says Dr. Dylan Wint.

3. Prioritize Quality Sleep

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Getting quality sleep is crucial for cognitive function. During sleep, the brain eliminates toxins that can contribute to dementia and other cognitive issues. Aim for seven hours of uninterrupted, restorative sleep each night.

Expert Insight

If you have any sleep-related problems, such as sleep apnea, talk to a health care provider,” advises Heather M. Snyder, Alzheimer’s Association’s vice president.

Read More: Air Pollution Linked to Higher Dementia Risk: Study

4. Allow for Mental Downtime

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Scheduled downtime is necessary for brain health. Taking short naps, meditating, or simply closing your eyes for a few moments can help your brain recover and reset after a busy day. Long term, this has a profound impact on memory and dementia onset.

Expert Insight

“Just like our muscles and joints need to recover after a strenuous workout, our brains need a period of rest,” notes Dr. Tan.

5. Manage Stress and Blood Pressure

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Chronic stress and high blood pressure are detrimental to brain health. High blood pressure can lead to memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Managing stress through relaxation techniques and maintaining a healthy diet to control blood pressure are crucial steps.2

Expert Insight

“Chronic stress can lead to higher blood pressure, which is detrimental to brain and heart health,” explains Dr. Tan.

6. Stay Socially Active

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Social interaction is vital for brain health. Engaging with others can prevent dementia and improve overall well-being. Participate in social activities that you enjoy, whether it’s spending time with family, joining a club, or volunteering.

Expert Insight

As social beings, the human brain thrives on interacting with others. When this does not happen, our memory and cognition can decline over time,” says Dr. Tan.

7. Avoid Smoking

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Smoking is linked to an increased risk of dementia. Quitting smoking can lower the risk of cognitive decline to levels similar to non-smokers. Reducing tobacco use or opting for smokeless alternatives can also be beneficial.

Expert Insight

“Quitting smoking can lower the risk of cognitive decline back to levels similar to those who have not smoked,” explains Ms. Snyder.


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While genetics and individual risk factors play roles in the development of dementia, adopting these seven brain health rules can significantly boost cognitive functioning and protect against dementia. It’s never too late to start incorporating these practices into your daily life. By making informed choices about your lifestyle, you can enhance your brain health and maintain cognitive sharpness as you age.

Read More: 10 Medications Linked to Dementia


  1. Dementia Specialists Shared 7 Rules To Keep Your Brain In Top Shape.” Yahoo. June 15, 2024
  2. A brain expert shares his 7 ‘hard rules’ for boosting memory and fighting off dementia.” CNBC. Marc Milstein. November 13, 2022.