Could a “dry” January help protect mental heath?

PUBLISHED: 10:47 29 December 2014 | UPDATED: 10:47 29 December 2014




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

Dementia is a growing issue across the county, but cutting back on alcohol could help tackle the issue, according to the NHS.

Professor Alistair Burns is the 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 he has highlighted a guide to avoiding dementia and the signs and symptoms to look out for.

He said: “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.

“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 your risk of developing dementia in later life along with many other health conditions.”

NHS guidelines state that men shouldn’t regularly drink more than 3 to 4 units per day and women shouldn’t regularly drink more than 2 to 3 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.

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