Keeping your brain healthy
Research shows that a healthy lifestyle can help to protect you from cognitive decline. Around a third of cases of dementia may be due to factors that we could change (Alzheimer’s Research UK).
It can also help to prevent your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which themselves are risk factors for dementia.
Experts agree that what is good for your heart is also good for the health of your brain.
What you can do:
- eat a healthy diet
- maintain a healthy weight. This will help to reduce your risk of diabetes and help you manage it if you're already diagnosed
- move more
- keep within the recommended limits for drinking alcohol
- stop smoking. You're 4 times more likely to stop if you get support from a specialist stop smoking service
- keep your blood pressure at a healthy level
Look after your mental wellbeing. Low mood, loneliness, anxiety and depression can affect your ability to be socially active and take part in mentally stimulating activities.
The Think Brain Health website has lots of information and resources to help you learn more about your brain, including the steps you can take to protect it and the latest news and tips on brain health.
You can also read and download the Dementia;Reducing your Risk booklet from the Alzheimer’s Society website.
If you live in Greater Manchester and have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, you can download an information leaflet from the Dementia United website.
NHS Health Check
If you’re aged 40 to 74, you’ll be invited to attend a free NHS Health Check every 5 years. This can tell you whether you’re at higher risk of getting certain health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and stroke.
You’ll also discuss how to reduce your risk of these conditions and dementia. If you're over 65, you’ll be told the signs and symptoms of dementia to look out for. Your GP will write to you inviting you to an appointment.