Last updated: 25.05.11

Diet and food hygiene 'important in Alzheimer's research'

Scientists are studying the impact of diet and food hygiene on the development of the symptoms of Alzheimer's in sufferers of the illness.

Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise are not just good for fitness and wellbeing in the present, these factors could have a beneficial impact on a person's likelihood of developing Alzheimer's in the future.

He commented: "We don't yet fully understand what causes dementia, but it's likely to be a complex mix of genetics and environmental factors, such as diet, lifestyle and exercise."

Dr Ridley added that the causes of dementia and other degenerative illnesses in old age are not fully understood, but this research is helping to unlock the mysteries of Alzheimer's and other mental disorders.

According to research from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, middle-aged adults who carry extra weight increase their risk of developing dementia later in life.