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GPs to Patients: Dementia is Preventable

Posted on 24.03.2016

Public health officials are informing GPs that patients must now be encouraged to improve their lifestyles to prevent dementia.

Rather than simply accepting that dementia is an inevitable part of the ageing process, patients should be viewing it as a disease that can be prevented by living a healthier lifestyle.

After a survey completed by Alzheimer’s Research UK, results found that a mere quarter of British adults actually know that they can actively lower the risk of developing dementia. Two in five people admitted that they would be more likely to live a healthier lifestyle if it would reduce the risk of the disease.

So what can you do to live a healthier lifestyle and prevent dementia in old age?

Many patients do not realise that living a healthier lifestyle can benefit not only the heart but also the brain. By taking measures towards a healthier lifestyle including:

  • Stop smoking
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat fewer processed foods

…We can actively reduce the risk to our brain as well as our other internal organs. Many other measures can be taken to benefit the brain directly such as:

  • Learn a second language
  • Download a brain-train app on your phone/tablet
  • Complete daily puzzles such as crosswords/Sudoku
  • Read more regularly
  • Keep socially active

Dementia currently affects 850,000 people in the UK, which is a staggering number for a disease that can be reduced by simply living a healthier lifestyle. Not only will changing your lifestyle affect your chances of developing dementia, but will also improve your mood, reduce depression, and relieve stress.

Dr Charles Alessi, a GP and Public Health England’s lead for dementia said ‘Healthcare professionals should encourage people to change their lifestyle choices – it’s never too late to improve your health.’

Source: GP Online

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