Dementia is a life-changing condition for which, at the moment, there is no cure, so medical professionals often advise that the best course of action people can take is to reduce their risk of developing the illnesses that cause dementia.
One of the most common causes is Alzheimer's disease, which is why organisations like Alzheimer's Research UK place a lot of emphasis on educating people about dementia risk factors and how to minimise them.
To this end, the charity has launched a new partnership with Garmin International - a technology company that makes products including smartwatches - that aims to boost awareness of dementia risk reduction and to raise funds for new research.
Making a difference
Serving as the official sporting events partner of Alzheimer's Research UK, Garmin will encourage people to get regular cardiovascular exercise, regardless of their current age or fitness level. Leading an active, healthy lifestyle is thought to reduce a person's risk of getting dementia.
The American company will also serve as the official sponsor of The Treble, a new virtual fundraising challenge soon to be launched by Alzheimer's Research UK. The event will encourage participants to raise money for groundbreaking research by taking on running, cycling and swimming challenges.
Theo Axford, head of marketing at Garmin UK, said the company was "thrilled" to announce its collaboration with the charity and was "determined to make a difference".
He added: "We want to empower people to make simple lifestyle changes in order to help protect their health and reduce their dementia risk."
Lucy Squance, director of supporter-led fundraising at Alzheimer's Research UK, stressed that research can keep people "connected to their families, their lives and themselves for longer".
"This partnership gives us an exceptional opportunity to reach out to the public and offer them the support and advice they need to make positive lifestyle changes that could lower their chances of developing dementia. We can't wait to see what we achieve together."
Alzheimer's Research UK shared some key facts to emphasise the need for further research into dementia:
- Studies have indicated that the number of people with dementia could be reduced by up to a third through lifestyle changes like eating well, maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically and mentally active.
- Only 34 per cent of the public believe it's possible to reduce their risk of developing dementia.
- Someone in the UK develops dementia every three minutes.
- Almost one million people in the UK and 50 million people worldwide are living with the condition.
Scientists in the US published research findings at the American Academy of Neurology last month which backed up thinking that people with good heart health in their 20s are more likely to have better memory and thinking skills decades later.