Dr Byron Creese is the academic lead for the PROTECT Study
Five Simple Lifestyle Changes That Can Prevent Dementia
Nearly half of all dementia diagnoses are preventable through simple life changes and it is never too early or too late to take action.
Ahead of speaking at “Dementia: Reduce Your Risk”, a webinar hosted by Alzheimer’s and dementia charity BRACE on 8th October, Dr Byron Creese from the University of Exeter has given five simple lifestyle changes that people can make now to prevent a potential dementia diagnosis in later life.
Dr Creese is the academic lead for the PROTECT Study, a long term online study with over 30,000 participants that is exploring how brains age and develop in the over 50’s.
5 Tips to prevent dementia, all of these things are things we can take steps to manage ourselves-
• Keep active
Obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are all linked to higher risk of dementia. Regular sus-tained exercise from mid-life onwards helps keep a healthy weight, a healthy heart and reduce risk of diabetes.
• Reduce alcohol consumption
Drinking more than 21 units of alcohol per week (equivalent to seven large glasses of wine or 12 bottles of beer) increases risk of dementia. Although, for overall health it is important to try to keep intake to less than 14 units.
• Quit smoking
Issues with the heart and blood vessels have been linked to two of the most common forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. It is well known that smoking can cause issues with the vascular system so by cutting down or quitting smoking altogether, the risk for those issues can be reduced. Stopping smoking is beneficial regardless of your age.
• Wear a hearing aid
Research has shown that hearing loss is linked to worse memory and an increased risk of demen-tia. The good news is that wearing a hearing aid could protect against this risk, so if you have a hearing aid, make sure you are wearing it and it is switched on! We can also keep an eye on rela-tives or friends who might have trouble with their hearing.
• Maintaining social contact
Social contact is important for a variety of reasons and is associated with better overall well-being. Is it likely that it plays a role in keeping our brains sharp through having more interactions with people.
Dr Creese- “We know we could reduce overall dementia risk by a staggering 40 per cent, if we all took meaningful action throughout our lives. My talk will summarise the latest research and focus on the biggest risks that we can personally do something about, and what you can do to improve your chances of keeping your brain sharp into later life.”
“Dementia Reduce Your Risk” is open to everybody and free to book your place (donations are accepted) by visiting https://www.alzheimers-brace.org/event/reduce-risk
Date: 6 October 2020