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Top 12 Ways to Reduce Risk of Dementia

Top 12 Ways to Reduce Risk of Dementia

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  • Forty percent of dementia cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting lifestyle changes
  • Nine dementia risk factors were reported by experts in 2017
  • Additionally, three dementia risk factors – alcohol consumption, air pollution and head injury were added recently

Dementia could be prevented by modifying twelve risk factors over a lifetime. The risk factors could prevent 40% of dementia cases. The report was presented as Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC 2020)

What is Dementia?
Dementia is not a single disease, it is a collection of medical conditions which results in deterioration in memory, behavior, thinking, social abilities and the ability to perform everyday activities.

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Dementia mainly affects older people and includes Alzheimer's Disease.

Globally, dementia affects around 50 million people and this number is expected to triple by the year 2050.

An increase in dementia is expected especially in low- and middle- income countries. Women are also at a higher risk of developing dementia compared to men.

In developed countries, the rate of dementia has reduced due to lifestyle changes suggesting the possibility of preventing dementia.

What are the Risk Factors of Dementia

Dementia experts in 2017 identified nine risk factors:
  • Less education early in life
  • Hearing loss in mid-life
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Physical inactivity
  • Diabetes later in life
Recently, twenty-eight dementia experts added three new risk factors to the list.
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Head injury in mid-life
  • Air pollution in later life
Lon Schneider, the commission member and AAIC presenter said that they are learning how to avoid dementia to begin early and continue throughout life. He says, its never too early or late to take actions.

What are the Interventions Recommended by AAIC Commission?

  • Maintain blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or less after the age of 40
  • Prevent hearing loss by reducing high noise levels. Encourage the use of hearing aids for hearing loss.
  • Prevent head injury
  • Restrict the amount of alcohol consumption to 21 units per week. (1 unit is equal to 10 ml of alcohol)
  • Quit smoking and encourage others to also quit
  • Primary and secondary education must be made compulsory for all children
  • Try to lead an active life into mid-life and later life
  • Reduce chances of obesity and diabetes
In summary, the report also addresses evidence-based individualized care for dementia patients at home with a greater risk of COVID-19. It also provides interventions for family members who are at a risk for depression.

The commission conducted a thorough study in order to reach their conclusions.

Source: Medindia

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