Take control of your brain health this New Year

Media Release

Wednesday 30 December 2015

Take control of your brain health this New Year

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia,1 yet research shows only one in three over 65 with dementia will be correctly diagnosed,2 and the average time from symptoms to diagnosis is still more than three years.3

This New Year, Alzheimer’s Australia is urging Australians to be proactive and to do all they can to improve their overall health in 2016 by making a serious commitment to improving their brain health.

Alzheimer’s Australia National President, Professor Graeme Samuel said there were things we could all do to reduce the risk of dementia, regardless of age, and encouraged everyone to embrace the 5 simple steps to maximise brain health in 2016.

“Research shows what’s good for your heart is also good for your brain. Up to half the cases of dementia worldwide are potentially attributable to health and lifestyle factors,” Mr Samuel said.  

“Looking after your heart, being physically active, challenging your brain, eating healthily and enjoying social activity are things you can do to reduce the risk of developing dementia and other chronic diseases. 

“It’s never too late for people to modify their lifestyles to lower their risk of dementia and improve their overall health and well-being.”

Mr Samuel said the start of 2016 was the perfect opportunity to visit the Your Brain Matters website and take the 21 day challenge.

“Before the year becomes too busy it is the perfect time to learn something new and challenge your brain. Not only is the 21 day challenge a great thing to do to improve your brain health, but it can also be a lot of fun. 

“It’s something you can do on your own, or involve the whole family – why not challenge your friends and really make 2016 about focusing on your brain health?”

“It is also an opportunity to make an appointment to see your trusted health professional; and discuss any concerns you may have around your brain health.

“Dementia does not discriminate, it can affect people in their 30s and 40s. It is time to make dementia everybody’s business and ensure brain health is a priority for Australians of all ages in 2016.”

You can download the free brain health app, BrainyApp, available on Apple and Android devices. For more tips about brain health, how to reduce your risk of dementia, visit yourbrainmatters.org.au


1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015) Causes of Death, Australia, 2013: Cat no. 3303.0  
2 Sehadri S, Belser A, Kelly-Hayes M, Kase CS, Au R, Kannel WB et al, The lifetime risk of stroke: Estimates from the Framingham Study.  Stroke, 2006; 37 (2):345-50; cited in Alzheimer’s Association (USA) 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures p 19. www.alz.org/downloads/facts_figures_2013.pdf 
3 Speechly, C. (2008). The pathway to dementia diagnosis. Medical Journal of Australia, 189, 487-9

Media enquiries:

Bianca Armytage | 0407 019 430 | bianca.armytage@alzheimers.org.au

Alzheimer’s Australia is the peak body representing people with dementia and their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. More than 342,800 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than half a million by 2030.

National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area

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