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What’s good for the heart is also good for the brain

24 March 2016

Public Health England and the UK Health Forum have published a joint statement on reducing risks for dementia in the population.

The statement is aimed at risks associated with mid life habits which will have a potential impact on brain health in later life.

Known as the Blackfriars Consensus statement the document identifies both risks of harm and factors that protect.

Given that vascular disease plays a big part in dementia, it is no surprise what is bad for your heart is also bad for your brain. The statement says that:

"Given the evidence that there may be a vascular component to many dementias, interventions to address vascular risk factors (such as tobacco, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol; and intermediate disease precursors such as raised blood pressure, raised blood cholesterol, obesity and diabetes which arise from behavioural and other factors) should also help reduce the risk, progression, and severity of dementia. Protective factors also play a part and these include education and intellectual and social engagement."

The National Institute of Health and Social Care excellence has published "Dementia, disability and frailty in later life – mid-life approaches to delay or prevent onset." (read the guidance here)

This makes the following recommendations to reduce the risk of brain ill-health.

  • stop smoking
  • be more active
  • reduce their alcohol consumption
  • improve their diet
  • lose weight if necessary and maintain a healthy weight

Austin Thornton, head of health and care at Wrigleys said: "The onset of dementia is a huge challenge to the person affected and those close to them. Now that we are living longer, it is fast becoming one of the great fears of ageing. Just as society is engaging with the disability, so messages about risk reduction are especially welcome."

Further reading:

Blackfriars Consensus on promoting brain health: Reducing risks for dementia in the population - Public Health England/UK Health Forum statement

Dementia, disability and frailty in later life – mid-life approaches to delay or prevent onset - NICE guidelines [NG16] (Published October 2015)

Dementia - A free Legal & Financial Guide


If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Lynne Bradey on 0114 267 5584.

To keep up to date with further updates from the Wrigleys Health & Care team, you can follow on Twitter here

The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors.


March 2016



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