Working together to protect our brain health

Think Brain Health is all about the positive steps you can take to look after your brain. But we also need to Think Brain Health and take action as a society.

A 2020 report called the Lancet Commission on dementia highlighted 12 dementia risk factors linked to our environment and lifestyle that could contribute to up to 40% of cases of dementia. The Report tells us that it’s never too early or too late in life to make changes that could reduce our risk.

However, we know that only 33% of people realise that they can influence their dementia risk.

Here at Alzheimer’s Research UK, we’re committing to three actions:

1.

Raising awareness and understanding through public engagement

We created Think Brain Health to spread the positive message that we can all help protect our brains by staying sharp, keeping connected, and looking after our hearts.

2.

Working with government

We understand that there are factors out of our control that can make healthy choices more difficult. And some risk factors for dementia – such as air pollution – are hard to avoid as individuals but can be addressed by working together.

To help drive this effort, we’re working with the government to help ensure risk reduction and brain health are core features of its new dementia strategy. We’re asking government to take inspiration from the brain health consensus statement, acknowledge the value of protecting our brains and expand policies to address more risk factors for dementia. We also want to see new resources on brain health for health care professionals, like GPs, to help them understand the latest evidence and feel empowered to support their patients in the best way.

3.

Turning up the volume on brain health

By working together, we can make an even bigger impact.

It’s why we recently led cross-sector discussions to develop a common understanding of what brain health is and why it’s a priority. Then in November 2021, we launched a consensus statement supported by over 30 leading health organisations and experts. This number is still growing and we will continue rallying voices around the consensus to show just how widespread support for action on brain health is.

Beyond dementia risk reduction: a consensus statement on Brain Health

A person having their blood pressure taken in a clinic