By Sophie Borland Health Editor For The Daily Mail
Published: 00:02 BST, 13 August 2019 | Updated: 08:26 BST, 13 August 2019
Tens of thousands could avoid dementia by making basic changes to their lifestyle, according to a senior NHS doctor.
Professor Alistair Burns said up to a third of cases were potentially preventable as they were linked to diet, inactivity or poor brain health.
He stressed that a combination of ‘simple lifestyle interventions’ at any age would dramatically reduce a person’s risk.
These include learning a new language, walking a little further each day, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels and staying in touch with loved ones.
Professor Alistair Burns stressed that a combination of ‘simple lifestyle interventions’ at any age would dramatically reduce a person’s risk (stock image)
Professor Alistair Burns (pictured) said up to a third of cases were potentially preventable as they were linked to diet, inactivity or poor brain health
Professor Burns, the national clinical lead for dementia in the NHS, said these interventions would also help patients already diagnosed with the illness.
While exercise and social activities will not halt the disease’s biological advance, they can help alleviate the withdrawal and isolation that can come with it, he said.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics last week showed dementia is responsible for one in eight deaths. Around 850,000 adults live with the condition, which experts say is the ‘biggest health crisis of our time’.
The Daily Mail launched a campaign last month urging the Government to end the scandal of families having to pay for their loved ones’ care.
Falling asleep in the daytime could be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research.
It found brain cells that help keep us awake during the day are the first to go in those affected by the illness.
Researchers discovered that an accumulation of a protein called tau kills off these brain cells.