New research suggests our lifestyle choices affect memory loss almost as much as aging. Forbes looks at 10 surprising factors, positive and negative, that determine how sharp you'll stay:
- Tofu—eating too much can increase dementia in the elderly.
- Carbs—likewise, too many derail Alzheimer's-fighting enzymes in the brain.
- Hot flashes—women who suffer have trouble remembering names.
- Smoking—hurts memory, but quitting improves it.
- Statins—taking them to lower cholesterol also combats dementia.
- Thyroid disorders—reduce memory-regulating hormones.
- Depression—leads to mild cognitive impairment.
- Chronic pain—as with work and sleep, it disrupts memory and attention.
- Healthy marriage—in mid-life reduces your chances of dementia.
- Fish—three or more servings per week help stave off strokes.