UK’s Alzheimer’s Society commissions new study into link between diet and dementia

London: The UK’s Alzheimer¬ís Society has today commissioned a new research study into the link between diet and dementia. The review hopes to answer crucial questions about what aspects of diet can help to people lower their risk of developing the devastating disease.

Experts increasingly believe eating healthily is key to reducing risks and are hoping this new research study will galvanise research into this important area.

Sarah Day, Hearts and Brains project manager, Alzheimer’s Society says,

¬ĎFrom fruit juice to red wine there are lots of different studies that have linked dementia to diet. For the first time in the UK, this study will bring together all of this information to give us a clearer picture of what the evidence says and where more research is needed. What we find will also help us let people know exactly what they can be doing to manage their risk.

¬ĎPeople think that not much can be done, but a growing weight of evidence suggests this isn¬ít true. Physical exercise, keeping a low blood pressure and cholesterol, not smoking and eating healthily and can all affect your chances of developing dementia.

¬ĎFor example, studies have shown that, a healthy Mediterranean diet could reduce your risk by a third whereas obesity can double your risk. This study will combine this evidence to give us a holistic approach to the facts.¬í

The first half of the findings of the review will be ready for Alzheimer¬ís Awareness Week 2007 (1 ¬Ė 7 July 2007). This year¬ís Awareness Week will focus on what people can do to reduce their risk of developing dementia, like make simple changes to their lifestyle.

A new booklet ¬ĎBe Headstrong¬í which tells people how they can reduce their risks is available from Alzheimer¬ís Society local branches during Alzheimer¬ís Awareness Week or from www.challengedementia.org.uk

¬∑ Alzheimer¬ís Awareness Week is the 1 ¬Ė 7 July 2007

¬∑ Copies of the Alzheimer¬ís Awareness Week brochure ¬ĎBe Headstrong. Challenge your risk of Dementia¬í are available on request.

¬∑ For information about Alzheimer¬ís Awareness Week¬ģ 2007 and activities happening across the country visit www.challengedementia.org.uk

· 1 in 3 older people will end their lives with a form of dementia.

· 700,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In less than 20 years nearly a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051. 1 in 5 people over 80 have dementia.

· The Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and those who care for them. The Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

· As a charity, the Alzheimer’s Society depends on the generosity of the public to help it care, research and campaign for people with dementia. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting www.alzheimers.org.uk

· The Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Helpline number is 0845 300 0336 or visit www.alzheimers.org.uk