Lifestyle changes may help stave off Alzheimer's

WASHINGTON (AP) There are no proven ways to stave off Alzheimer's, but a new report raises the prospect that avoiding nine key risks starting in childhood just might delay or even prevent about a third of dementia cases around the world.

How? It has to do with lifestyle factors that may make the brain more vulnerable to problems with memory and thinking as we get older. They're such risks as not getting enough education early in life, high blood pressure and obesity in middle age, and being sedentary and socially isolated in the senior years.

Thursday's report in the British journal Lancet is provocative - its authors acknowledge their estimate is theoretical. A recent U.S. report was much more cautious, saying there are hints that lifestyle changes can help.