More than 80,000 people a year could be saved from dementia by lifestyle changes to protect the brain, according to a major global report.

The research says individuals should be encouraged to take action earlier in life to try to fend off conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, amid increasing evidence that deterioration of the brain starts in the 40s.

The findings will be presented at the World Innovation Summit for Health in Doha in February.

Its chairman, surgeon and former UK Labour health minister Lord Darzi, urged the public to act now to change their diet and exercise habits and to stimulate their mental capacity through puzzles in order to prevent a “tide of suffering” which could otherwise overwhelm the nation.

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