SCIENTISTS have revealed the 12 habits you can change to reduce your risk of dementia.
Research has shown there are modifiable risk factors for the memory-robbing condition, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International.
The charity — an international group of more than 100 Alzheimer’s associations — said it can be difficult to know how to lower your chances because of the amount of information given about the disease.
Its list, based on research in The Lancet, breaks down factors that make you more likely to develop it that you can stop or reduce.
They include smoking, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, air pollution, head injury, infrequent social contact.
Less education, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and hearing impairment all increase your risk as well, experts said.
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Dame Louise Robinson, of Newcastle University, said: “Research increasingly shows that dementia can be delayed or even prevented by targeting our lifestyle choices such as exercise, diet, and social connections.
“Also, it is never too late to correct hearing loss.
“Healthy hearts, healthy bodies, and healthy brains, should be our mantra.”
Reducing how much you drink to within NHS guidelines — around six pint of beer or medium glass of wine a week — and quitting smoking are two easy ways to bring down your risk.
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You should also avoid foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt to lower your chances of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Around 944,000 Brits are currently living with dementia and experts predict the numbers will exceed one million by the end of the decade.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of the condition, and is thought to be caused by build-ups of proteins in the brain, including tau and amyloid.
There is currently no cure for the disease, although three promising drugs to slow down its progress are currently in trials: lecanemab, donanemab and remternetug.
In the meantime, experts say focusing on how to improve your lifestyle is the best way to fight the disease.
Paola Barbarino, chief executive of ADI, said: “The old adage states that prevention is better than a cure.
“In the absence of a cure, risk reduction is the best tool we’ve currently got available.
“We understand it’s not always easy, but we can’t blueberry our way out of this, nor will there be a silver bullet magic pill for some time.
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“Some of these risk factors require a degree of personal choice from individuals, like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
“Others require government action, like air quality, and access to education.”
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