Simple online brain test helps predict your risk of dementia – 6 signs you must know | The Sun

A SIMPLE online brain test can help predict your risk of dementia, experts have revealed.

The quiz aims to help Brits explore healthy brain behaviours as well as offering tips on how to boost your memory.


It's split into three short sections which focus on being sharp, staying connected and loving your heart.

The Think Brain Health Check-In takes about ten minutes, and all you need is your brain, the experts say.

If you have several areas that need improvement, then this could be a sign you're at risk.

Dementia can't yet be prevented due to age and genetics – which are both things we can't change.

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However, experts at Alzheimer's Research UK state that 40 per cent of cases are linked to factors we can influence such as diet and things we do to challenge our brains.

In the first section, you're asked how often you do activities that challenge your brain.

This could include reading, playing an instrument or doing puzzles.

This is important as regularly challenging your brain can improve its ability to cope and keep working, even in the face of damage from diseases like Alzheimer’s, developers said.

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Next you're quizzed on your sleep habits and how many hours of quality sleep you get each night.

Experts say this is important, as studies show that sleeping badly over a long period of time could put you at increased risk of dementia.

In the last question in the section, you're asked what steps you take to look after your mental wellbeing, including taking part in activities and things you enjoy.

The second stage asks how often you meet, speak to friends, colleagues or family members – as social isolation has also been found to be a known risk of dementia.

You're then asked if friends or family members have had any concerns about your hearing.

This is because several studies have shown a link between hearing loss and dementia risk.

The final section looks at 'loving your heart', with participants being asked whether or not they smoke.

If you smoke, the experts say quitting is one of the most important steps you can take to protect both your heart and brain.

Your also asked the following:

  • when did you last have your blood pressure checked?
  • when you last had your cholesterol checked
  • if you have type 2 diabetes, or you've ever been told by a medical professional that you're at risk
  • how often you drink alcohol
  • how often you drink more than 14 units a week
  • how you would rate your diet
  • how often you take part in vigorous or moderate physical activity

You'll also be asked 'equality questions' at the end of the quiz, which look at your age, gender and location – but you don't have to answer these.

At the end, you're given a personalised plan, looking at areas where you can improve,

For example, if you struggle with sleep, then you might be given sleep tips and tricks.

Professor Jonathan Schott, chief medical officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said that only 30 per cent of people know that there is something that they can do to individually reduce their risks

“There are some people who are (genetically) destined to develop dementia, but we know now that up to 40 per cent of worldwide dementia risk is potentially modifiable,” he said.

“And we now are developing a rational evidence base of at least 12 modifiable and potentially modifiable risk factors.

“It’s vital that we do all that we can, as individuals and society, to reduce our risk.”

The signs of dementia you must know

Different types of dementia can affect different people and everyone will experience symptoms in their own way, the NHS states.

There are some common signs though that you can look out for.

These include:

  1. memory loss
  2. difficulty concentrating
  3. finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, such as getting confused over the correct change when shopping
  4. struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
  5. being confused about time and place
  6. mood changes

Guidance states that symptoms are often mild but may become worse over time.

Academics have also called for brain health to be included as part of the NHS mid-life MOT – also known as the NHS Health Check – after a survey conducted on behalf of the charity found that just two per cent of adults are doing their utmost to help their brains stay healthy.

This includes looking after their hearing, daily challenges to keep the brain active, socialising, keeping fit and eating a healthy diet.

Dr Charles Marshall, clinical senior lecturer in dementia at Queen Mary University of London, called for brain health to be included in the NHS Health Check.

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“I think what we need to do is think about combining a sort of education approach where we teach people about what they can do to keep their brains healthy with also improved early detection and diagnosis so that we can give people personalised interventions as early as possible,” he said.

“One example of this might be an updated NHS health check that includes a major brain health focus that can identify when people have these risk factors but also something where we can identify early warning signs of dementia.”


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