Reduce the risk of dementia with a healthy lifestyle

Researchers suggest that lifestyle changes can reduce the risk associated with symptoms of dementia. Image courtesy: Pixabay

In India, more than 4 million people are living with some form of dementia. 820,000 people in the UK are affected by dementia. These horrifying numbers making this disease a global health crisis that needs to be addressed. Early diagnosis and lifestyle changes are required to prevent the risk of dementia.

According to studies, a healthy lifestyle could reduce the genetic risk of dementia. A balanced diet, exercise can help in mitigating the risk even in people with a genetic predisposition.

Adopting a healthy style could reduce the genetic risk of dementia, the researcher says.

In a research study done by the University of Exeter, it is found that the genetic risk of dementia can be reduced by 32% who have followed a healthy lifestyle.

This finding at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2019 shows that people with genetic risk can offset the possibilities of dementia by following a healthy lifestyle including exercise and a balanced diet.

This study was conducted over 1769 cases of dementia over a period of 8 years which delivers the result that people can be able to reduce the risk of dementia by living a healthy lifestyle.

WHO introduces new guidelines that recommend interventions to prevent the risk of dementia. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “ number of people affected by dementia is expected to triple in the next 30 years”. It requires to form guidelines that provide health providers the knowledge base to encourage patients to follow healthy living to prevent the occurrence of dementia. Also, the policymakers need to introduce programs that focus on a healthy lifestyle.

Dementia has become the greatest health challenge affecting mostly the elderly population. Individuals who are near the 60s are more prone to develop dementia. 

However, combating the risk factors of dementia has been an important part of WHO’s Global action plan for the public health response to dementia.

So what a healthy lifestyle looks like

It’s a combination of a balanced diet, exercise, and other factors. This applies to someone who follows-

- Less intake of processed foods

- Regular exercise including walking and cycling

- Less alcohol consumption

- Mental exercises like solving puzzle etc,

While this may seem difficult to follow but studies prove that older groups living a healthy lifestyle perform well than those who don’t follow a healthy living style. Researchers found that healthy living is linked to dementia and the people who think they can have dementia because of genetics can also reduce the risk by living a healthy lifestyle.

As there are no drugs to cure this disease and you can’t avoid the lifestyle changes, the only thing you can do is reduce the chances to get affected by keeping your health at its best.

1.University of Exeter. "Healthy lifestyle may offset the genetic risk of dementia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2019.


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