Doctor reveals how to reduce your risk of getting dementia

By Shania Obrien for Daily Mail Australia

04:21 April 30, 2024, updated 04:21 April 30, 2024

A doctor has revealed the lifestyle and dietary factors that reduce the risk of dementia – and why a ‘common’ problem of old age needs to be treated immediately.

Dr. Aaron Lam is a postdoctoral researcher at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and his areas of expertise include neuropsychology and neuroimaging.

“While it is not possible to guarantee prevention, we know that there are a number of steps we can take to reduce the risk of dementia,” he told FEMAIL.

The expert explained that hearing loss can increase the risk of dementia because it reduces social and cognitive stimulation. Conversely, hearing aid use has been shown to protect against this risk.

In terms of diet, Dr. Lam recommended a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains to keep your brain alert and healthy.

Dr. Aaron Lam is a postdoctoral researcher at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research

Does smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol cause dementia?

Dr Lam revealed that comparative studies have shown that older people who quit smoking may have a reduced risk of developing dementia in the future, compared to those who continue to smoke.

South Korean research has shown that smokers have a 20% higher risk of developing dementia when they reach old age.

“Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to brain changes and dementia,” added Dr Lam.

“A large longitudinal study followed more than 9,000 participants for 20 years and showed that drinking more than 21 standard drinks per week was linked to a substantial increase in dementia risk.”

Dr Lam encourages people to follow a Mediterranean diet to reduce dementia risk

What should I eat to keep my brain healthy?

“In terms of diet and diet, results have been somewhat mixed, but if an individual wants to change their diet, the general consensus is that a Mediterranean diet can be beneficial,” Dr Lam said.

This diet prioritizes basic ingredients in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece.

It includes whole grains, lean proteins like fish, healthy fats like olive oil, plant proteins like lentils, and nuts.

Research also consistently shows that a Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease by 25 percent and premature death by 23 percent.

What fruits and vegetables should I eat if I follow a Mediterranean diet?







Sweet potatoes


Brussels sprouts
















Will getting more sleep reduce dementia risk?

“Optimizing sleep is essential for brain health because it facilitates the elimination of neurotoxins accumulated during the day, including beta-amyloid, which is linked to Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Lam.

Sleep disorders, particularly obstructive sleep apnea, increase with age but also increase the risk of dementia.

Getting enough sleep promotes muscle growth and repair, helps keep your brain alert, improves your blood sugar, and extends your life expectancy.

It is recommended to sleep seven to nine hours each night and maintain a good circadian rhythm.

READ MORE: The 10 rules of “biohacking” to help you live longer, age “in reverse” and have a radiant glow every day

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