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Lifestyle changes cut dementia risk

21 July 2017 08:33

Taking more exercise could reduce a person's dementia risk, researchers say

Taking more exercise could reduce a person's dementia risk, researchers say

Researchers have claimed that 1 in 3 dementia cases could be prevented were people to make certain changes to their lifestyles.

How well a person is educated and how much exercise they take were highlighted as being among these so-called modifiable risk factors. As were blood pressure levels and hearing.

Risk factors

T he findings were the work of a panel of 24 experts from around the world who say modifiable risk factors account for around one third of all dementia cases.

People who had had better quality education and who also took steps to keep their weight and blood pressure levels healthy could see their chances of getting dementia drop by a fifth.

Estimates suggests 850,000 people in the UK have dementia. Many families affected will choose to take a holiday to give both the carer and the person with dementia a break. People can arrange travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions.

What the experts say

Professor Lon Schneider, a member of the team from the University of Southern California in the US, said: "There's been a great deal of focus on developing medicines to prevent dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

"But we can't lose sight of the real major advances we've already made in treating dementia, including preventive approaches.

"The potential magnitude of the effect on dementia of reducing these risk factors is larger than we could ever imagine the effect that current, experimental medications could have."

The Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care brought the experts together to review a wealth of existing research and data and make evidence-based recommendations.

The findings are published in The Lancet journal.