What’s good for our heart is also good for our brain

June 28, 2020

Nial Joyce of leading dementia care centre, Clifden House, Seaford looks at the latest WHO Dementia Guidelines.

The rise in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is alarming and is expected to double every 20 years, from 47 million people in 2015 to 75 million in 2030 and 131 million in 2050.

“This means that in the next 30 years, the number of people with dementia is expected to triple and we need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, MSc, PhD, said in a press release.

heart-and-brainThe WHO guidelines outline key recommendations to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. These include:

Physical Activity

Physical activity should be recommended to adults with normal cognition to reduce the risk for cognitive decline.


Tobacco cessation should be offered to adults who use tobacco, as it may reduce the risk for cognitive decline and dementia in addition to providing other health benefits.


A healthy, balanced diet should be recommended to all adults based on WHO recommendations on healthy diet.

Vitamins B and E, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and complex multivitamin supplementation should not be recommended to reduce the risk for cognitive decline and/or dementia


Reducing or ceasing hazardous and harmful drinking can help reduce the risk for cognitive decline and/or dementia, in addition to other health benefit.

The scientific evidence gathered for these Guidelines confirms what we have suspected for some time, that is what is good for our heart is also good for our brain.

Dementia carers are very often family members who need to make considerable adjustments to their family and professional lives to care for their loved ones. To help, WHO has created iSupport, an online training program providing carers of people with dementia with advice on overall management of care, dealing with behaviour changes, and how to look after their own health.

When caring for someone with dementia gets too much there is always the option of short-term respite care. Clifden House Dementia Care Centre offers both respite and long term residential care.