There are few families that haven’t been touched by Alzheimer’s around the world. It is important that we support those who are affected by the disease by understanding it. Dementia Is a Group of Symptoms rather than a disease. It’s symptoms affect mental tasks like memory and reasoning. Dementia is usually caused by a variety of conditions, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. There is also encouraging new research from the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease that has found that key lifestyle factors could reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by 25%.  The following information is compiled from British research.


Did You Know?

A new person develops dementia every four seconds. There are currently 850,000 with dementia in the UK. The number, globally, is expected to double every 20 years.

Dementia is not a normal part of ageing, although the risk of developing the illness increases with age. One in three people over the age of 65 will die with it.

There is no cure, no vaccine and few drugs to ameliorate symptoms. But scientists now understand more about what goes on in the brain to produce Alzheimer’s.

Reduce The Risk:

Check Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can triple the risk of developing dementia; we need to keep our arteries flowing to deliver oxygen, glucose and nutrients to our brains. Make sure you get your blood pressure checked regularly. If the bottom number is 90 or over and the top is 145 or above, talk to your doctor about the best ways to get it down.

Beef Up Your Bs

B12 supplements can be a big help in reducing brain shrinking. You can easily get this from your food – try beef, shellfish and eggs. Soya milk is great for vegetarians who need a supplement.

Get Walking

Exercise stimulates cognition and is brain protective. The body secretes protective chemicals during physical activity including a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), thought to spark the growth of neurons. Alzheimer’s disease is a gradual loss of total number of neurons in the brain. Something as simple as walking for 30 minutes a day could make a real difference.

Understand Fats

Research published in the medical journal Neurology has found that those who ate a diet consistently high in trans-fat-rich fast food had lower scores on brain tests and more grey matter shrinkage typical of Alzheimer’s disease. Avoid anything with the word ‘hydrogenated’ in its ingredients, as this will mean it contains trans-fats. Oily fish is a great source of omega-3 fat, which is the most brain protective. If you hate fish, look for a supplement.

Waist Matters

Researchers are not certain how being very overweight adds to your risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, but there is increasing evidence that it does. One theory is that too much insulin in the brain, which can be caused by being obese or overweight, may stimulate the build-up of ‘beta amyloid’ plaques found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s. Whatever the reason, it can only be a good thing to try and keep up a healthy diet rich in nutrients and vitamins.