The World Alzheimer Report 2014 has today called for health messages promoting brain health to be integrated into public awareness campaigns. Dementia and Risk Reduction – an analysis of protective and modifiable factors highlights key lifestyle factors that have been linked to an increased risk of dementia, including diabetes, poor cardiovascular health, smoking and low education. The report, which is released in the run-up to World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September, also calls for further research to better understand how to prevent the condition.
Dr Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:
“Although there is currently no certain way to prevent dementia, this report underlines strong evidence suggesting we can lower our risk by adopting a healthy lifestyle. A large body of research has linked high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes to an increased risk of dementia, and this analysis serves as another reminder that good heart health is an important route to good brain health. Studies have also suggested that education in early life may help build a level of ‘cognitive reserve’, helping the brain to withstand the damage from diseases like Alzheimer’s for longer in later life.
“Importantly, this report highlights a need to understand better how to reduce the risk of dementia, which is why Alzheimer’s Research UK is committed to increasing investment in this area of research. With over 830,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and that number set to increase, research into prevention is a crucial component in tackling this growing crisis.”
Posted in Policy news