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England’s top dementia doctor says “Make cutting back on alcohol your New Year’s resolution”

NHS England’s top dementia doctor says cutting back on alcohol to protect your mental health is a good 2015 resolution.

Prevention is something everyone can help with as the NHS tackles the growing issue of dementia, says Professor Alistair Burns, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Dementia.

He said a number of research studies* showed significant relationships between alcohol and the onset of dementia.

Most studies suggest drinking large amounts of alcohol increases the risk of dementia.

And today he highlighted a guide to avoiding dementia and the signs and symptoms to look out for.

Cutting down on alcohol can reduce people’s chances of developing dementia.

“The New Year is the perfect chance for us all to consider our lifestyles and think if there is anything we can improve or change to increase our healthiness – both physical and mental,” he said.

“While stopping drinking altogether isn’t a reality for many people, cutting down can make a huge difference. However, it can be very easy for one glass to lead to two and then to a bottle and this can seriously increase you risk of developing dementia in later life along with many other health conditions.”

NHS guidelines state that men shouldn’t regularly drink more than three to four units per day and women shouldn’t regularly drink more than two to three units per day.  One unit is roughly equivalent to half a beer or a small glass of wine.

Currently 375,000 people in England have a diagnosis of dementia out of the 683,000 estimated to have the condition.

NHS England, in parallel with the Prime Minister’s Challenge on dementia, has an ambition that two thirds of people with dementia will have a diagnosis and post diagnostic support by 2015.

Two thirds is 455,000 which leaves a gap of 80,000 people who need to be identified.

Being a Dementia Friends is not about volunteering or donating money – it is about finding out how to make life a bit better for somebody with dementia.

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