- 15 January 2021
Their report, Brain Health: a new way to think about dementia risk reduction, published today makes the case for introducing the term ‘brain health’ as a new way for the public and policy-makers to engage with and discuss dementia. Their research shows that ‘brain health’ has the potential to help far more people start managing their risk of dementia. The new research reveals that two in three UK adults believe they can influence their brain health (69%) – twice as many as believe they can reduce their risk of getting dementia (34%).
The report makes several key arguments in favour of making the public more aware of their ‘brain health’:
- Brain health is recognised as being important at all ages, unlike dementia risk reduction, which is associated with older adulthood;
- Health-conscious behaviours are driven more by brain health than dementia risk reduction, with nearly 60% of UK adults polled stating they stay mentally active to improve or maintain brain health;
- Almost nine in ten (86%) agree that brain health is about keeping the brain working properly.
The report aims to spark a new way for people to think about and engage with dementia risk reduction strategies, by raising awareness of brain health. It recommends that this is achieved by creating a Government brain health strategy, working with policymakers and health professionals to embed the new narrative at all levels, and communicating with the public.
Therefore, Alzheimer’s Research UK is launching a campaign, Think Brain Health, to accompany the report and share the brain health message with the public. The campaign marks the start of plans to embed brain health and normalise its use within health settings, policy-making and public conversation.
Christina Marriott, Chief Executive of RSPH, said: “With Alzheimer’s Research UK we are calling on the Government to develop a national brain health strategy. Alzheimer’s Research UK estimate that the number of people in the UK living with dementia will nearly double to 1.6 million by 2040 and the dementia cases of 2040 are the middle aged brains of today. We know that up to 40% of global dementia cases are avoidable so the Government must act now to prevent the slow tsunami of dementia overwhelming our health and social care system, and to prevent the harm to individuals and their loved ones.”