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Don't count on mind games, regular exercise or special diets to protect you from the ravages of Alzheimer's disease - at least not yet.

An expert panel has concluded that there is insufficient evidence to say whether any of these proposed strategies can actually prevent the mind-robbing illness.

The panel was assembled last year by U.S. National Institutes of Health to examine the existing body of research.

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"Although numerous studies have investigated risk factors and potential therapies for Alzheimer's disease, significant gaps in the scientific knowledge exist," according to the team led by Martha Daviglus of Northwestern University in Chicago.

Simply put, the previous studies weren't big enough or suffered from various errors in methodology, making it impossible for the team to draw firm conclusions.

The researchers, who published their grim assessment this week in the journal Archives of Neurology, called for large-scale, long-term studies to settle the issue of what's the best way to avoid or slow down the advance of the dreaded disease.

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