How lifestyle changes can help prevent dementia

'It takes a lot of effort, you have to think about how to fit these activities into your life', says Sue Taylor, who has a family history of dementia.

It is possible to reduce the likelihood of dementia by leading a healthy lifestyle, new research points out.

The study led by a team of the University of Exeter in England with nearly 200,000 people, indicated that the risk dropped by as much as a third when this occurred, according to results presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference. According to the researchers, this is encouraging by pointing out that people who are prone to the disease are not necessarily doomed to suffer from dementia - the worsening of cognitive functions that a person may develop.

Scientists gave people a healthy lifestyle score based on a combination of exercise, diet, alcohol and smoking. Thus, the high scorers in the study had the following attributes: do not currently smoke, pedal at a normal pace for two and a half hours a week, has a balanced diet that includes more than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day, fish twice per week and rarely processed meat, drinks up to 560 ml of beer per day.

Read more in Folha de S. Paulo

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