Three simple rules
It’s time we started to protect our brains and all the amazing things they do. Get started with our three simple rules.
Through research, we’ve learnt a lot about the things that increase our risk of developing dementia. Some of these, like our age and genetics, we can’t change.
But the latest evidence suggests that up to 40% of all cases of dementia are linked to factors we may be able to influence ourselves.
Here are our three simple rules for looking after your brain:
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.
Giving your heart some love shouldn’t mean crash diets or running a marathon every weekend, but simple positive changes that you can build upon and that you enjoy.
Several studies, including one important project in Sweden that followed 800 women over 44 years, suggest that mental activity – as well as physical activity – in midlife could help protect brain health in later 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.
And the most effective mental workout out there? The truth is, there isn’t one specific activity that’s proven to be most helpful. So regularly doing things you enjoy is key.
Research points to social activity being the third piece of the puzzle when it comes to keeping your brain healthy.
The latest evidence suggests that social isolation is linked to an increased risk of dementia.
And we know that being socially active can help us feel happier, healthier and more positive in general. Whether that’s picking up the phone, meeting friends for a coffee, joining community groups, or jumping onto Zoom for a catch-up.
Information on this page does not replace any advice that doctors, pharmacists or nurses may give you. If you have more questions about dementia and research, our Infoline can help. Call us on 0300 111 5 111 or click here to find out more.