Alzheimer’s researchers will present findings in London this week to show that “what’s good for the heart is good for the brain”.
They say people can cut their risk of developing dementia – as well as heart disease and diabetes – by losing weight and keeping their blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check.
Experts recommend people follow a healthy lifestyle to protect their blood vessels by having a balanced diet, taking regular exercise and not smoking.
The research showed that the protein can damage muscle cells which are crucial for controlling blood flow to the brain.
There are an estimated 816,000 people with dementia in the UK, although most have not been diagnosed.
Over 773,000 are aged 65 years or over although the number of younger people with dementia is rising. The disease costs the UK economy around £23billion a year, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.