It’s a cruel disorder that blights the lives of millions worldwide, slowly robbing them of their memories and independence. 

But, despite what you may fear, dementia is not an inevitability, with as many as four in 10 dementia cases thought to be preventable. 

Indeed, scientists say a few simple lifestyle tweaks could potentially slash your risk of getting the disorder.

Oxford University experts yesterday concluded that drinking less alcohol, eating less sugar and avoiding traffic pollution were the most important controllable risk factors in cutting your chances of being struck down with dementia.

But if you don’t fancy giving up the booze or sweet treats, luckily there may be some other lifestyle changes you can make to cut your risk… 

Social isolation could increase a person's risk of dementia by 60 per cent, according to Alzheimer's Society

Social isolation could increase a person's risk of dementia by 60 per cent, according to Alzheimer's Society

Social isolation could increase a person’s risk of dementia by 60 per cent, according to Alzheimer’s Society

Keep a wide circle of friends 

Having a big circle of friends and keeping up with social gatherings is thought to slash your chances of getting dementia.

In fact, the opposite (social isolation) could increase a person’s risk of dementia by 60 per cent, according to charity the Alzheimer’s Society. 

Taking part in social activities such as volunteering, joining a class, playing music or doing arts and crafts as a group are all thought to boost what experts call your brain’s cognitive reserve.

This is a term experts use to describe the organ’s ability to cope with conditions that damage it, relieve stress and improve mood, the charity explains.

The charity adds that the act of listening to someone in conversation, finding the right way to express yourself and recalling things that have happened are all ways of exercising your mental skills. 

A 2019 study also found social contact provided a ‘protective effect’ against dementia. 

Researchers measured the social contact of 10,000 participants between 35 and 55 years of age with non-cohabiting relatives and friends six times over 17 years using a questionnaire.

They found those with frequent social contact had a higher cognitive reserve, suggesting they were less likely to develop dementia. 

Experts have spotted a link between bacteria and inflammation caused by gum disease with the build-up of amyloid proteins, which is linked to Alzheimer's

Experts have spotted a link between bacteria and inflammation caused by gum disease with the build-up of amyloid proteins, which is linked to Alzheimer's

Experts have spotted a link between bacteria and inflammation caused by gum disease with the build-up of amyloid proteins, which is linked to Alzheimer’s

Brush and flossing your teeth 

Brushing and flossing your pearly whites twice a day is one simple habit that could help reduce your risk of dementia. 

Experts have spotted a link between the bacteria, and subsequent inflammation caused by gum disease, with the build-up of amyloid proteins.

These proteins are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

A 2020 study in the US suggested people with gum disease and mouth infections were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.

Another 2021 study found participants who lost more teeth were nearly 1.3 times likelier to suffer dementia, with the risk increasing according to the number of teeth lost. 

However, scientists still need to figure out if the bacteria helps drive the condition or if gum disease and tooth loss simply happens more in people in the early stages of dementia. 

Another potential factor is that people with poorer oral hygiene habits that lead to gum disease could also be generally unhealthier and at greater risk of developing dementia from other factors. 

Vigorous aerobic activity such as running, helps to keep your heart, lungs and blood circulation healthy. All of which is also good for brain health

Vigorous aerobic activity such as running, helps to keep your heart, lungs and blood circulation healthy. All of which is also good for brain health

Vigorous aerobic activity such as running, helps to keep your heart, lungs and blood circulation healthy. All of which is also good for brain health

Take up running 

Doing regular exercise and avoiding becoming a couch potato could drastically cut your risk of developing dementia. 

Vigorous aerobic activity such as running, helps to keep your heart, lungs and blood circulation healthy. All of which are also good for brain health.  

Experts estimate regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing dementia by about 28 per cent. For Alzheimer’s specifically, the risk is reduced by around 45 per cent, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. 

A 2013 study looking at the health behaviours of more than 2,000 Welsh men aged 45 and 59 years and following them for 35 years found that regular exercise cut their risk of dementia by 13 per cent.

Although these men also did not smoke, had a moderate alcohol intake and were a healthy weight, exercise levels were shown to have the greatest effect on reducing dementia risk, according to the researchers at Cardiff University. 

The participants that ticked all these lifestyle boxes cut their dementia risk by 60 per cent.  

However, if running isn’t your thing a brisk walk and daily activities such as cleaning, gardening and cooking also keep your body active and help to reduce the risk of the disease, Alzheimer’s Society said. 

WHAT IS DEMENTIA?

Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders, that is, conditions affecting the brain.

There are many different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

Some people may have a combination of types of dementia.

Regardless of which type is diagnosed, each person will experience their dementia in their own unique way.

Dementia is a global concern but it is most often seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live into very old age.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?

The Alzheimer’s Society reports there are more than 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, of which about two out of three have Alzheimer’s disease.

The number of people in the UK with dementia is projected to rise to 1.6 million people by 2040. 

In the US, it’s estimated there are 5.5 million Alzheimer’s sufferers. A similar percentage rise is expected in the coming years.

As a person’s age increases, so does the risk of them developing dementia.

Rates of diagnosis are improving but many people with dementia are thought to still be undiagnosed.

IS THERE A CURE?

Currently there is no cure for dementia.

But new drugs can slow down its progression and the earlier it is spotted the more effective treatments are.

Source: Dementia UK 

Source: Mail Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

How an Ancient Healing Practice Is Addressing Modern Health Equity Issues in Latines Communities

Inaruti Araní, creatrix of Modern Mystics, began working as a curandera in…

Feeling Glam? Meet the 10 Best Silk Robes To Wear While You Glide Around the House

With the Well+Good SHOP, our editors put their years of know-how to…

Ladies, desperate for a libido boost? Get salmon sperm injected into your vagina: Bizarre wrinkle-defying trend is now being used to rev up women’s sex lives (but it’ll cost you £400!)

Flailing libido?  Maybe you’ve thought about buying racy new lingerie to spice…

Revealed: Weight loss jabs like Ozempic have been linked to TWENTY deaths in Britain – including person in their 30s – as experts issue new warning

Slimming jabs like Ozempic and Wegovy have been linked to 20 deaths…