A new study has highlighted how a healthy lifestyle can significantly decrease the risk of developing dementia – even if you’re genetically predisposed.
Exercising regularly, keeping an eye on your blood pressure, and using brainpower are key to keeping the risk of neurodegenerative diseases down, it said.
The University of California, which published the study, looked at around 1,700 people over the age of 90.
It found that around half developed dementia, while the other half showed no symptoms. However, the “hallmark” proteins closely associated with the disease were found in roughly 50 per cent of those who did not show symptoms.
The researchers said this discovery indicates that people are able to build up resilience to the disease.
Likewise, the group who showed the strongest resilience were the ones who exercised more and watched less TV.
Lead professor Claudia Kawas said: “People should be suitably informed about what they can do to prevent cognitive decline from the standpoint of today’s scientific knowledge.
“The results of the report do not form a suitable basis for deriving public health strategies to counter the wide-spread disease of dementia.
“The overarching message we can derive from the findings so far is – keep your body and brain working in order to protect cognition.”