A senior public health advisor has said he believes that dementia cases could be halved if more work were done on prevention. Dr Charles Alessi believes that concentrating on the risks of vascular dementia and picking up the early signs of cognitive impairment, can help to delay the onset of dementia or prevent the symptoms worsening. Eating well, taking exercise and not smoking can all help to delay the onset of serious symptoms or may prevent them altogether.

There is a continuing call for more research into this devastating condition. Trefine Maynard, a clinical negligence solicitor at Ashton KCJ, says: “For once there is some encouraging news on the dementia epidemic which we are constantly being warned about. Prevention is always better than treatment, especially when it comes to dementia. It is a horrible condition and causes immense distress to the sufferers and their families.

Broadly it seems the advice at this stage is that healthy living can help to avoid or delay dementia, along with other benefits, such as protecting against heart disease and diabetes. I hope that a greater emphasis on research will lead to a breakthrough in understanding and treatment – and most importantly, prevention, but it seems that we have to start by taking responsibility for our own health”.