Click Here To Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel

5 ways to build an Alzheimer’s-resistant brain | Lisa Genova


Only 2% of Alzheimer’s is 100% genetic. The rest is up to your daily habits.

Subscribe to Big Think on YouTube ►
Up Next ► 4 ways to hack your memory

People want a perfect memory. They wish that they can remember everything that they want to remember. But it doesn't work like that.

Most people over the age of 50 think that forgetting someone's name or forgetting why they went into the kitchen is a sign of Alzheimer's. It isn't. Most of our forgetfulness is perfectly normal.

If you are worried about developing Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, some simple lifestyle modifications can help prevent it: getting enough sleep, exercising, eating a balanced diet, and managing stress.

Read the video transcript ►


About Lisa Genova:
Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, Inside the O’Briens, and Every Note Played. Still Alice was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, and Kristen Stewart. Lisa graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide speaking about the neurological diseases she writes about and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, Today, PBS NewsHour, CNN, and NPR. Her TED talk, “What You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s,” has been viewed more than five million times. The New York Times bestseller REMEMBER is her first work of nonfiction.


Read more of our stories on cognitive decline:
Your personality is linked to risk of dementia and cognitive decline

Is sleeping longer than 6.5 hours a night associated with cognitive decline?

Risk factors that determine whether you’re more or less likely to develop cognitive decline


About Big Think | Smarter Faster™
► Big Think
The leading source of expert-driven, educational content. With thousands of videos, featuring experts ranging from Bill Clinton to Bill Nye, Big Think helps you get smarter, faster by exploring the big ideas and core skills that define knowledge in the 21st century.
► Big Think+
Make your business smarter, faster:


Want more Big Think?
► Daily editorial features:
► Get the best of Big Think right to your inbox:
► Facebook:
► Instagram:
► Twitter:
5153 ,

Date: July 9, 2022

36 thoughts on “5 ways to build an Alzheimer’s-resistant brain | Lisa Genova

  1. I'm pretty sure in older years I'll have multiple neurologic diseases. One is because of genetics, but the other is that I feel that previous (and current experiences) in my life are erroding my cognition at different levels.

  2. Funny how she mentions learning new things.. throughout this whole video I kept wondering if there is a link between learning disabilities and memory disabilities. Seems like common sense, you need a good memory to learn from right? I was a 4.0 student thru highschool and college and so many people told me I was smart, but I know it isn't true. It takes me so much time and repetition to try to memorize things. i.e. Amyloid plaques, Glial cells, none of these terms stick unless I go over them repeatedly. On an exam I can regurgitate information verbatim but never learn it and worst of all, I do a brain dump a few weeks later and forget most of what I just perfected. Smart people can recall facts and figures well, but it's their comprehension and critical thinking that I always seem to lack. When I observe other people talk about a subject I'm familiar with, they seem to understand it even if technical terms aren't always completely memorized, it's their ability to draw conclusions and complete an original train of thought that always amazes me. I have also observed there are very quick learners that can pick up an instrument or a new language and surpass me in a fraction of the time it took me to learn it. My experience is most people learn much quicker than I do. I wonder if I'm alone in this experience of life.. I feel like a robot with memorized info rather than a person capable of grasping expanding and articulating on ideas. I'm sure I have some form of learning disability that I'm not aware of, the problem is even if I learn about my learning disability would it even change anything?

  3. Guys, doing this is really good for your health in general but it won’t prevent Alzheimer lol. My father had it and he made all of these stuff. He was the healthiest person in the family, always reading, exercising and still he was diagnosed with it by the age of 71. So… live your life the best you can (;

  4. Hmmmmmmmmm……… chronic stress is a factor? Its a factor for allot of diseases. I think I might sue my boss and modern society for causing a protentional health harm in me.

  5. You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    You know what I have alzheimer resistance gene

    WAIT A SEC….

  6. " The findings of the 9 articles indicated that cannabis-based drugs might modulate Aβ modifications in several AD models. Our findings establish that cannabis-based drugs inhibited the progression of AD by modulating Aβ modifications. "

  7. If there are any doctors here, what is the damage you would say for someone who was chronically sleep deprived and under pretty high stress for like 2 straight years, now better but still dont get adequate sleep sometimes

  8. My mom had Alzheimer. What I've seen made me terrified of getting it. I love this video, everything you mentioned as a preventative I have been doing! Thank you for this wonderful video

  9. Having anxiety and intrusive thought OCD, like all those memory problems you just stated, that's me on the daily, but I don't think it has anything to do with alzheimers. It's just when I get a thought in my head that starts the anxiety engine turning, it becomes an obsession, turns into panic attacks and fear and the rest of the world just fades away, so I could be listening to someone talk, staring them straight in the mouth when they say it and I won't remember it 10 seconds later, same with if I'm driving or going somewhere, I'll forget where I am or why I'm there or how I got there, because the anxious thoughts become an obsession in my head.
    Atleast I'm hoping it isn't alzheimers, sure enough right now though since I watched this video I'm having terrible anxiety about it being alzheimers and I'm probably just making this comment to try and rationalize and calm myself down about the whole situation to avoid the panic attack I feel coming on

  10. I would like to add medicinal mushrooms into this list! Lion's mane specifically! I've been using it for 2 months now and i feel like i have more brain capacity to remember things and learn faster. Its suppose to help prevent Alzheimers also. Reishi is also one ive been taking for the 2 months and i get crazy vivid dreams.

  11. I expected the expert to include the role and effect of regular fasting in the prognosis of Alzheimer’s. The role of dysregulated autophagy in pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s and the ability of inducing autophagy by regular intermittent/prolonged fasting has long been an active area of research in Alzheimer’s management.

  12. I feel like I'm half-way there and I'm a young man (now turning older) who doctors have a habit of not taking seriously; which is why I ended up in ICU. I tend to only clearly recall memories from before my 20s. The little inklings and hints on recalling subjects have almost completely faded away; first they became fainter and now they are usually non-existent. And I exhibit some/few classic symptoms of alzheimer's. Another issue I have is I can hardly write through a paragraph or two without forgetting my thoughts that I'm trying to write down, and it becomes progressively harder the longer the writing is. I think speech would be easier, but I've noticed I'm having more difficulty with communicating complex thoughts via speaking — I have all the time in the world when writing, but when speaking there isn't usually more than a few seconds afforded. It becomes slightly frustrating and messes with my emotions, heart rate, etc. Of course I can't be certain it's an alzheimer's issue. It used to be much much easier.

    I've done everything on this list for at least 10+ years, although my diet isn't purely mediterranean and my exercise while technically qualifying isn't as much as it used to be or should be given I'm overweight. Point 4 is the big issue for me and it can't be helped. I have been stressed since before I was 10 but especially after and hypervigilant ever since my teens. If there is a cause of alzheimer's (or beta-amyloids) I feel like humanity does not know what it is yet.

  13. Americans are too much depends on medication because you guys are programmed like that from childhood, your rationality is killed by scientific arguments; arguments which are not universal are used for each and every individual. Remember every individual has its own biology and genetic footprint. No one treatment is meant for all similar disorders. Gene x Environmental interaction plays an important role too. So does your food habits and daily activity. For Alzheimers, you guys must work on the hypothesis that"does living in air conditioning homes cause alzhimers? As brain needs fresh air and being coming from another part of the world, I always feel AC doesn't clear the air inside homes. Fresh air feels way different than air-conditioned home air.

  14. For the impatient, the 5 are :
    04:26 Get enough sleep
    05:14 Diet or rather Mediterranean Diet Eat colorful foods
    05:50 Exercise such as Brisk walk for 30 mins 5 times a week
    06:18 Avoid chronic stress. Constantly high cortisol levels are bad.
    07:17 Learning new things => building cognitive reserves which are redundant neural connections which allow dancing around the gunked up connections

    the 5 work as well as any pills. Just do them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.