Here’s a good reason to lower the volume on your MP3 player: Protecting your hearing can protect your brain from Alzheimer’s! The reason? Because when we can’t hear well, our brain has to work harder to figure out what sounds we’re hearing – and what’s being said. And that takes mental energy away from other tasks. Plus, trouble hearing makes people less social – and numerous studies show chatting with friends is one of the best ways to keep your mind sharp. Bottom line: If you can keep your hearing intact by lowering the volume on your MP3 player, you’ll cut your risk of Alzheimer’s by 20%.