Three food cravings could actually be a sign of dementia according to experts at a leading UK charity.
Experts at Alzheimer’s UK have urged people to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms highlighting food choices as a key indicator.
The charity said patients may “crave sweet, fatty foods, or carbohydrates and forget their table manners”.
The charity added “they may also no longer know when to stop eating, drinking alcohol, or smoking,” while being rude or insensitive to people around them being another key indicator.
Research suggests 7 changes could reduce risk of dementia
It comes as new research, published in the Neurology journal, suggests eating better and losing weight are among seven habits linked to lowering the chance of people at genetic risk of dementia developing the condition.
The study suggests other factors that may play a role in reducing the risk are not smoking, maintaining a healthy blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, and reducing blood sugar.
Researchers say the findings are good news for those who are at the highest genetic risk of dementia.
The seven cardiovascular and brain health factors are known as the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7.
The study looked at 8,823 people with European ancestry and 2,738 people with African ancestry who were followed for 30 years.
Dr Rosa Sancho, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Dementia risk depends on many factors.
“Some, like our age and genetic make-up, we cannot change, while others, like diet and exercise, we can.
“This study supports the idea that what is good for the heart is also good for the brain – and that this holds true even for people with a higher genetic risk of dementia, at least for participants of European ancestry.
“Although the researchers monitored participants for all forms of dementia, when grouping people according to genetic risk they focused only on genes that increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease, just one cause of dementia.
“Also, health scores were taken at the start of the study, but what we don’t know is whether the participants’ healthy habits lasted for the duration of the study.”