HPP partners with Alzheimer’s Research UK to investigate the link between sport and dementia

24 November 2021

The Health Policy Partnership is delighted to announce a new partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK). The collaboration will see the two organisations undertake a detailed review of the links between certain sports and the risk of developing dementia. The findings of this research will be launched in mid-2022 with the aim of feeding into ARUK’s broader strategy around dementia and sport.

The collaborative research project will span six months and will involve a literature review and consultation with clinical, research and sports stakeholders to gain a better understanding of knowledge gaps in this area.

There is a growing body of evidence that physical exercise may play a role in reducing the risk of dementia. However, current research also shows that some athletes are at increased risk of developing dementia, and there has previously been little evidence and understanding as to why this is.

The World Health Organization reports around 55 million people currently living with dementia worldwide, with this number expected to rise to 139 million by 2050. A better understanding of different prevention and risk-reduction activities may play an important role in reducing the possible impact of dementia in the future.

Christine Ridout, Associate Director of Research and Policy at HPP, said:

‘We often hear about the impact of sport and physical exercise on dementia, but there are still too many gaps in our knowledge that need to be addressed. With dementia having such a devastating impact on individuals and families, I am pleased that we are focusing on this important topic.’

ARUK is the UK’s leading charity specialising in finding preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia. Find out more about dementia on the ARUK website.