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Healthier living could cut dementia risk

9th August 2020

Matt Sanders

A new study has revealed that adopting a healthier lifestyle could help people keep dementia at bay.

According to a review published in The Lancet medical journal, up to 40% of dementia cases could be delayed or even avoided by eating less, exercising more, and quitting smoking and drinking.

The research reveals that around 340,000 out of the UK’s 850,000 dementia cases are a result of people’s lifestyle (alongside environmental factors, medical history and education). This moves even further away from previous assumptions that dementia was purely a matter of fate brought on by ageing and genetics.

The review, conducted by 28 of the world’s foremost dementia experts, found 12 factors contributing to dementia – all of which are in our control. The researchers included British scientists from University College London, Cambridge, Exeter, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Scientists are discovering that dementia is not inevitable, and a person’s lifestyle can either increase or decrease their risk of developing the condition later in life.

For example, we know now that poor blood circulation caused by diet, exercise and alcohol consumption has a significant impact on the brain.

Professor Clive Ballard of the University of Exeter, one of the researchers, said: “Our findings present an exciting opportunity to improve millions of lives across the world by preventing or delaying dementia, through healthier lifestyle to include more exercise, being a healthy weight and stopping smoking, and good medical treatment of risk factors like high blood pressure.”

He continued: “This analysis shows there’s real potential to improve brain health by taking action.”

Dr Rosa Sancho, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, agrees: “While there’s no sure-fire way of preventing dementia, the best way to keep your brain healthy as you age is to stay physically and mentally active, eat a healthy balanced diet, not smoke, drink only within the recommended limits and keep weight, cholesterol and blood pressure in check.”

Around the world, there are currently more than 50 million cases of dementia. This figure is expected to increase to 152 million by 2050.

At Paragon Structures, we’re committed to improving the health and fitness of local communities. Our fabric membrane sports structures are quick to build, energy-efficient, and versatile enough to be used for all kinds of sports – from football to golf to swimming.

The cricket and golf centres we constructed at Millfield School in Somerset earlier this year demonstrate how sports facilities can be used by the whole community to stay healthy well into old age. Check out some of our recent construction projects.

If you’d like to find out more about our low-cost, high-tech structures, get in touch with the team today.

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