Which MPs are supporting Think Brain Health?

Think Brain Health is an ongoing celebration of everything our amazing brains do for us – and a guide to the simple things we can do to protect them in return.

Just as we can improve other areas of our physical health, we can actively improve our brain health. In fact, the latest evidence suggests up to 40% of all dementia cases are linked to factors we may be able to influence ourselves.

We all have a part to play in promoting brain health. Some risk factors for dementia, such as air pollution, are hard to avoid as individuals, but can be addressed by wider societal action through legislative change.

Which MPs joined the campaign?

    Mark Eastwood

    Dewsbury

    I will: Eat a balanced diet

    "I am going to eat more vegetables in my diet and eat more oily fish to increase my omega-three intake."

    Jeff Smith

    Manchester, Withington

    I will: Stay physically active

    "I am going to cycle into parliament whenever I am able"

    Dave Doogan

    Angus

    I will: Stay physically active

    "I am going to support my brain health by increasing my daily exercise and making time to read more (non-political) books."

    Richard Thomson

    Gordon

    I will: Stay physically active

    "By making more of an effort to walk and cycle wherever possible."

    Selaine Saxby MP

    North Devon

    I will: Stay physically active

    "I have purchased an exercise bike with a desk on it so I can work and exercise simultaneously and commit to an hour of cycling a day."

    Kirsten Oswald

    East Renfrewshire

    I will: Stay mentally active

    "I am going to commit to staying mentally active by doing one short Gaelic lesson on Duolingo every day."

    Wendy Chamberlain

    North East Fife

    I will: Stay physically active

    "During the pandemic, I've been keeping active by running and exercising at home. I will commit to staying physically active by getting back to shinty training and playing when I can."

    Douglas Ross

    Moray

    I will: Stay physically active

    "Staying active is not a problem with my two year old son running me off my feet. He is always keen to get out in the garden so between meetings and my daily run I am enjoying the extra fresh air and staying fit."

    Elliot Colburn MP

    Carshalton and Wallington

    I will: Stay physically active

    "I've been trying to be more physically active, particularly because - as is the case for so many of us - much of my day is sat on meetings behind a screen. Luckily my partner and I have two dogs, so there's always the opportunity for a walk!"

    Fleur Anderson

    Putney

    I will: Stay physically active

    "I will go on a walk or bike ride every day to keep physically active."

    Bell Ribeiro-Addy

    Streatham

    I will: Keep socially engaged

    "I am going to commit to keeping socially engaged by hosting more online meetings with constituents and campaign groups as well as friends and family."

    Richard Burgon MP

    Leeds East

    I will: Eat a balanced diet

    "As a busy MP I am working 24/7 so although I am always mentally active, Alzheimer's Research UK has reminded me why it's important to take the time out to go for that walk or cook that healthy dinner, so I will do my best to do this in future."

    Simon Fell

    Barrow and Furness

    I will: Stay physically active

    "I am going to commit to staying physically active by completing a bike ride into work each day."

    Toby Perkins MP

    Chesterfield

    I will: Stay physically active

    "I have been endeavouring to stay physically healthy, having recently taken up running and also to do regular Sudoku challenges to ensure my brain remains dexterous."

    Wera Hobhouse MP

    Bath

    I will: Keep socially engaged

    "Become a member of a choir, once I stop being the MP."

    Minister

    Ruth Jones

    Newport West

    I will: Stay mentally active

    "I am going to commit to staying mentally active by completing a puzzle each week, as well as continue to read and engage with friends and family via zoom and telephone calls."

    Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP

    Hemel Hempstead

    I will: Stay physically active

    "I will join the Gadebridge Park Run when I can and join the BBC Couch to 5K Challenge. When that is not possible walk in the beautiful Chiltern Hills."

    Liz Twist

    Blaydon

    I will: Keep socially engaged

    "I am going to commit to staying socially engaged by playing an active part in my community and volunteering."

    think-brain-health

    Why this is so important

    We understand that there are factors out of our control that can make healthy choices more difficult. Some risk factors for dementia – including air pollution and traumatic brain injury – are hard to avoid as individuals but can be addressed by wider societal action.

    To help drive this effort, we’re asking government to work with us to develop a brain health strategy. It should include a commitment to implement cost-effective interventions to address the risk factors we know have greatest impact on dementia risk. We also want to see new resources on brain health for health care professionals, like GPs.

    Three steps to a healthy brain

    Here are our three simple rules for looking after your brain.

    Brain health keep-fit

    Love your heart

    What’s good for your heart is good for your brain!

    You probably know that cutting out smoking, being physically active and eating a balanced diet will help lower your risk of heart disease – but very few people realise you’ll be helping reduce your risk of dementia too.

    Brain health reading

    Stay sharp

    Do something you enjoy – variety is the spice of life!

    Researchers think that mental activity helps to build your ‘cognitive reserve’. This is your brain’s ability to cope and keep working, even in the face of damage from diseases like Alzheimer’s.

    Brain health social gathering

    Keep connected

    Social activity is the third piece of the brain health puzzle.

    Being socially active, whether that’s picking up the phone, meeting friends for a coffee, joining community groups, volunteering, or jumping onto Zoom for a catch-up can help us feel happier, healthier and more positive.