In AProf Valenzuela’s opinion, better prevention of dementia is possible, but only by degrees, and only when adopting a population perspective. At the individual level, there is nothing we can do to definitively prevent dementia or guarantee that someone will not develop the condition. At the individual level, it is therefore all about reducing, mitigating and managing your risk.
The following dementia prevention advice has been developed for the public and GPs. It brings together research from many sources, including a number of AProf Valenzuela own publications:
- Members of the general public interested in learning more are directed at AProf Valenzuela’s healthy brain book, Maintain Your Brain.
- GPs are directed to AProf Valenzuela’s recent review in the journal Medicine Today.
- Specialists and dementia researchers interested in learning more about the link between hypertention, antihypertensives and dementia risk are directed to the recent perspective article in Translational Psychiatry.
5 Most Important Healthy Brain and Dementia Prevention Messages
- Test your blood pressure and if it’s high (i.e., hypertension), do something about it. Heart health is intimately related to brain health.
- Complex mental activity, including learning new things and challenging the mind, is vital to brain health. This becomes even more important after retirement – take up a challenging (and fun) new hobby or past time.
- Physical exercise is as good for the brain as it is for the body. Actively make activity part of your day-to-day life. Aim for at least a brisk walk 5 times a week.
- Eat the Mediterranean way – fish instead of meat, more fruits and veges than anything else, lots of grains and pulses, simple carbs over refined sugar, olive oil instead of saturated fats. Minimize heavily processed and unnatural foods in your life.
- Watch your habits – don’t smoke, drink in moderation (if you do), aim for a healthy weight.
BrainyApp can help you do it!
‘BrainyApp’ is an iPhone/iPad application designed for increasing the awareness of dementia risk factors as well as a personalized tool to help drive positive behavioural change. An initiative of Alzheimer’s Australia, in partnership with the Bupa Health Foundation, and in collaboration with AProf Michael Valenzuela, it is available free of charge at the Apple App Store. For more information go to www.brainyapp.com.au
BrainyApp an instant hit
Since launching in November 2011, BrainyApp has beat all expectations. In the first few days of release, it was the #1app across all categories in both Australia and New Zealand. As of February 2012, 180,000 Australians had installed BrainyApp on their iPhones, resulting in more than 1 million user engagements. BrainyApp has to a certain extent changed the sector’s thinking on the value of mobile phone technology for the promotion of health.