My mom lived to be a little over 90 years old. But the last several years of her life were not easy for her or for us because of dementia. As my mother was getting older, I wanted to spend more time with her on the weekends, so I was making trips to and from the Seattle area. And as she got older, my sisters and I noticed some of the warning signs of Alzheimer's. 

Young nurse spending time with happy elder patient in nursing home

This was heartbreaking, especially for my sisters, because they were geographically closer to my mom than I was and saw her on a daily basis.  

It was hard to watch her decline, but it was even more difficult to realize that something like this could happen to me. So now I ask myself the question, what do I need to do to protect myself from dementia. Is it even possible? 

Here is what we know now. 

According to There are three things that factor into the potential for developing dementia. Diabetes, alcohol consumption, and traffic related pollution. (nitrogen dioxide) 

Air pollution from vehicle exhaust pipe on road

Now the item that's interesting and frankly, a little dismaying about this whole thing is that researchers claim that they have found a “weak spot” in the brain that is negatively impacted by the three things we've mentioned above. This so-called weak spot on the brain develops slowly during adolescence and tends to start degenerating early. 

There is also some information to indicate that there might be a rare genetic link that could contribute as well. Although they are still researching this. 


Are you concerned? Please check out the links below. 

Dementia: Diabetes, alcohol consumption linked to faster brain aging ( 

A common brain network links development, aging, and vulnerability to disease | PNAS 

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