Reading and writing may help to protect the brain against dementia, according to new findings.

The research was conducted by US researchers and published in the journal Neurology and showed that those who read books, write letters, and take part in mentally stimulating activities both early and later in life were 15 per cent less likely to suffer from dementia when they got older.

One of the authors of the study, Dr Robert Wilson, from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said: “Exercising the brain across a lifetime is important for brain health in old age. The brain that we have in old age depends in part on what we habitually ask it to do in life.”

The experts suggest that eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, reading more and doing crosswords can all play their part in reducing dementia.

Aluminium has also been linked with increased risk of dementia, according to a separate study published in the International Journal of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers from the University of Tokyo found that not only was Alzheimer’s linked with dementia, but that exposure to the heavy metal could also lead to other degenerative diseases such as ALS (similar to MS), Parkinson’s and kidney problems.

According to the researchers: “Whilst being environmentally abundant, aluminum is not essential for life. On the contrary, aluminum is a widely recognized neurotoxin that inhibits more than 200 biologically important functions and causes various adverse effects in plants, animals, and humans.”
High amounts of aluminium are present are the vast majority of deodorants, processed foods, additives, health and beauty products and medication, according to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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