Improve your odds by making these simple changes NOW

You can't seem to get your checkbook balanced... or keep your appointments straight... or figure out how to record your favorite TV program.

Life's little details can be overwhelming for everyone from time to time!

But if you find yourself confused, absentminded, or flustered by everyday tasks more and more often, these "brain burps" could signal the start of something more serious.

There's no magic bullet that can keep your "senior moments" from turning into full-blown dementia, but according to a new study, there are several things you can do right NOW to slash your risk.

Now, earlier today I shared with you the story of how country star Glen Campbell just succumbed to Alzheimer's, which is just one of the many forms of dementia.

And, at least "officially," the Alzheimer's Association says that there's no way to prevent it.

But the new study, published in The Lancet and conducted by 24 international experts on dementia, found that 1 in 3 dementia cases actually CAN be prevented.

So, even if those "senior moments" haven't started stacking up yet, there's no time like the present to make some changes that could stop dementia in its tracks.

All you have to do is:

  • Stay in school until at least over age 15
  • Reduce hearing loss, obesity, and high blood pressure in mid-life (age 45 to 65)
  • Avoid smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation, and diabetes later in life (age 65+)

According to the study, both protecting your hearing and snuffing out cigarettes can make the MOST difference in keeping your brain sharp.

The theory is that hearing better makes things more stimulating for your gray matter, so hold onto your hearing by avoiding loud noises and wearing earplugs in noisy places. Since painkillers like ibuprofen (a.k.a. Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (a.k.a. Tylenol) can contribute to hearing impairment or loss, skip them unless you really need them.

It makes sense to quit smoking to protect your brain, since it'll cut down your exposure to neurotoxins, improve your heart health, AND boost your brain health. The best way to "kick the habit" is to stop cold turkey -- but since that's easier said than done, you can get a little extra help from acupuncture.

Address obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes by going Paleo. By eliminating grains, sugars, and processed junk and switching to foods our caveman ancestors would have eaten, you'll shed some pounds, which will keep your blood pressure in check and get your blood sugar under control.

You can knock out depression, physical inactivity, and social isolation in one fell swoop by learning yoga, which can both ease depression and protect against cognitive decline. And while you're at it, take a group class, where you can make new friends and feel more connected to the outside world!

Finally, I'm pretty sure your high school days are a faded memory by now, but why not take this opportunity to pass that wisdom on to your grandkids now, while they can still hit the books and protect their noggins?