An expert committee of researchers in the US has highlighted the strong link between cardiovascular risk factors and brain health, following a review of existing evidence.
The advisory document from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association was published today in the journal Stroke.
Dr Laura Phipps from Alzheimer's Research UK, said:
"Our brains don't operate in isolation from the rest of our bodies and we know that many things people can do to promote physical health, can also have a positive impact on the brain. This report focuses on the role of cardiovascular health in keeping our brains functioning better for longer, and highlights action people can take to support both these areas of health. The authors recommend not smoking, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, staying active, eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight – factors that have emerged again and again in research exploring links between lifestyle and the health of our brains.
"Although mental activity and social engagement can also play a role in cognitive health, a good rule of thumb for everyone is that what is good for your heart is also good for your brain. These recommendations can hold benefits for people of any age and it is never too early or too late to adopt a lifestyle that supports a healthy brain"
"While this report highlights ways to help support a healthy brain and reduce the risk of memory decline and dementia, there is no sure-fire way to prevent a disease like Alzheimer's. We desperately need to see new approaches to tackle the growing challenge of dementia, and the drive towards new and better treatments needs to go hand-in-hand with investment in risk reduction research. By accelerating the science of dementia risk, Alzheimer's Research UK is working to empower people to make the most informed decisions about how they live their lives."
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