There is a lack of awareness that there are risk factors for dementia that can be limited by a healthy lifestyle. Up to 50% of dementia cases may have a vascular component so taking measures such as eating healthily and keeping active may contribute to reducing risk

Are you aware that the state of your brain health can postpone the onset of dementia regardless of your age?

Keeping your brain active matters: Keep your brain challenged. This is the ‘use it or lose it’ principle

Cognitively stimulating activities such as listening to radio, reading, doing crosswords and visiting museums were found in a 41⁄2 year prospective study of Catholic clergy to protect against cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease Wilson R, Mendes de Leon C, Barnes L et al. Participation in cognitively stimulating activities and risk of incident Alzheimer disease. JAMA 2002;287:742-8)

Be socially active: Loneliness in individuals age 65+ has been linked to a higher risk for dementia

Exercise stimulates the production in the brain of growth factors, which promote connectivity between nerve cells and help preserve their health

A study in Stockholm investigated mental, physical and social components of the leisure activities of people aged 75 years and older and found that all 3 components were associated with a reduced risk of dementia after 6 years follow up. Combining components offered the greatest benefit, with those whose activities included higher levels of 2 or all 3 components having a 47% reduced risk of dementia. (Karp A, Paillard-Borg S, Wang H-X et al. Mental, physical and social components in leisure activities equally contribute to decrease dementia risk. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord 2006;21:65-73.)

Eating Healthy: A Mediterranean-style diet is associated with decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Looking after your heart matters: What’s good for the heart is good for the brain – avoid smoking, manage your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body weight