Even if dementia runs in your family, smart lifestyle changes can help you improve your chances of staying ahead of it.

There are many things you can change about your life, but unfortunately, your genes are not among them. For better or worse, you are dealt a specific genetic hand when you are born. But that does not mean you are defenseless.

Take dementia, for example. If this cognitive disorder runs in your family, new research suggests there are ways to perhaps avoid the same fate.

“Just because you have a family history of dementia does not mean you are doomed,” says Dr. Andrew Budson, a lecturer in neurology at Harvard-affiliated VA Boston Healthcare System. “Adopting certain lifestyle practices may offer protection against dementia, delay its appearance, and even slow its progression.”

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