New research announced at this week's Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Paris suggests that women taking baby aspirin daily for their heart health may also be protecting their brain.
In the five-year study of more than 100 seniors, subjects took standardized tests measuring memory and cognitive skills. Women who took 75 to 150 milligrams of aspirin daily out-performed those who didn't, noted the researchers.
Interviewed by WedMD on July 18, Alzheimer's disease expert Maria Carrillo, who is not involved with the study, warned that "this doesn't mean low-dose aspirin will prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease," but only points to the need for more research on an inexpensive, readily available drug.
Aspirin may impact the brain because it is an anti-inflammatory, already widely prescribed to prevent heart disease. New evidence in prior research suggests that inflammation may also play a role in dementia as well.
Other ways to protect your brain? A new study supports drinking a glass or two of alcohol a day to safeguard against dementia as you age. Published March 2 in the journal Age and Ageing, German researchers revealed that light and moderate drinkers of any type of alcohol were 29 percent less likely to develop any kind of dementia than heavy drinkers or teetotalers.
In addition, research published last October in the journal Neurology found that walking just 9.5 kilometers (six miles) a week may keep your brain sharper as you get older. Walking may protect aging brains from growing smaller and, in turn, preserve memory in old age.
The renowned Mayo Clinic in the US also recommends staying social to help keep your brain sharp. Isolation can increase stress and depression, both of which can contribute to memory loss.
Read more tips for improving memory as you age: