Top 10 ways to fight off dementia

The 10 golden rules to help avoid dementia have been unveiled by British scientists.

Simple lifestyle changes can cut the risk of dementia by more than half, say Scottish scientists.Photo / Thinkstock
Simple lifestyle changes can cut the risk of dementia by more than half, say Scottish scientists.Photo / Thinkstock

From popping a fish oil pill to enjoying a glass of red wine, the simple everyday lifestyle changes can cut the risk of the disease by more than half, they say.

Another recommendation is ballroom dancing - because having to remember the steps boosts brain function, say the experts.

Factor in eating well, exercise and enjoying life and you can significantly reduce your risk, say the experts from the University of Stirling's Dementia Services Development Centre.

They devised the 10 easy rules a a way to try and keep the debilitating symptoms of the disease.

According to most recent figures, 48,182 New Zealanders had dementia. That number is expected to rise to 147,359 New Zealanders by 2050, according to www.alzheimers.org.nz.

Earlier this year, U.S. researchers warned that dementia rates will triple by 2050 if we continue to live unhealthy lifestyles.

Commenting on the 10 lifestyle recommendations, Professor June Andrews, from the University of Stirling said: "This is meant to be a cheerful list of positive things we can all do to help ourselves. They are not going to do any harm and there is research evidence that they can all help.

"We know we cannot affect the final outcome. When people are told they have dementia and it cannot be treated, that gives them the feeling there is nothing they can do.

"But if people are on that journey, the message is to live as well as you can and this list can help them do that."

Just last week, Boston researchers found that a rigorous walk could hold the key to slowing the onset of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in later life.

A natural chemical produced by the body during exercise could one day be given as an injection to inhibit the diseases, the researchers said.

The protein, called FNDC5, is produced by muscular exertion and is released into the bloodstream as a hormone called irisin.

And Swedish research published earlier this month found that stress in middle age could increase the risk of suffering dementia in later life.

They found conditions such as Alzheimer's may be linked to the amount of stress experienced up to four decades earlier.

Professor Andrews added that certain vitamins such as B6 and E have been shown to cut the risk of Alzheimer's.

A regular glass of wine can also appears to have benefits, but the researchers point out that binge drinking has been linked to an increased risk of dementia.

Drinking a regular glass of wine also has benefits but the group warns against getting drunk, as the number of young people with dementia caused by heavy drinking is increasing.

Some studies also show that eating fish oils, such as omega fatty acids, can slow the progress of Alzheimer's.

Check out the gallery below for the top 10 ways to stave off dementia:

- DAILY MAIL

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