Healthy lifestyle can reduce dementia risk

People who lead a healthy lifestyle can reduce the likelihood of developing dementia by one-third, it has been noted. Hannah Clack, media manager at the Alzheimer's Society, noted a balanced diet can be a key factor in staving off the condition - but obesity can serve to accelerate its onset.

Her comments come after it was revealed researchers at the University of Dundee are investigating whether the disease can be combated through the human body's antioxidant system.

Ms Clack stated it is important people combine a healthy diet with regular exercise, while also attempting to keep their blood pressure low.

"These are all things that can really help make sure that you are doing everything you can to hopefully avoid dementia," she added.

The investigators at the University of Dundee are looking at how certain drugs - such as sulforaphane, found in vegetables such as broccoli - can be used to kick-start the body's defence mechanisms to halt Alzheimer's progression.

Cath Burley, Chair of Psychology Specialists Working with Older People, commented: "We would concur with the Alzheimer's Society that evidence suggests eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, maintaining an optimal body weight, taking cardiovascular exercise several times a week and reducing stress levels will all contribute to minimising the risk of the development of vascular dementia.

"It is also important to avoid smoking and drink alcohol within the government's recommended daily limits. Keeping one's brain stimulated and engaging in social contact to maintain psychological well being are also important.

"However, it is highly unlikely that eating any one food will be the solution to this complex disorder. Every piece of research is welcomed in the development of more knowledge about the condition."