When discussing a disease that is expected to double in prevalence over the next two decades, it is hard to countenance a silver lining; currently Alzheimer’s afflicts 5 percent of Canadians over 65, and the only existing treatment is a series of drugs that, at best, alleviate symptoms for a year.

Even what little hope there is for avoiding the disease seems feeble, at best. In The End of Memory, a wide-ranging book on the history of Alzheimer’s, Jay Ingram lists a handful of lifestyle choices that apparently help prevent the disease. Exercise and education are two—the most proven. Learning a second language is another.

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