Illinois Cognitive Resources Network

Connecting to resources throughout your dementia journey

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What are common risks to cognitive health?

Genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors are all thought to influence cognitive health. Genetic factors are passed down from a parent to child and cannot be changed.

However, there are risk factors that you do have some control over. These environmental and lifestyle factors include:

• health problems (heart disease, diabetes, stroke, depression)
• brain injuries
• some medicines, or improper use of them
• lack of physical activity
• poor diet
• smoking
• drinking too much alcohol
• sleep problems
• social isolation and feeling lonely

Follow the links above to learn more about each of these risks. Check out our online resource Cognitive Health and Older Adults for more information on keeping your brain healthy as you age.

Last Updated on April 28, 2020

Published by Raj C. Shah, MD

I am geriatrician and an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center.

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