In case you did not know,dementia is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.
More than a third of dementia cases might be avoided by tackling aspects of lifestyle including education, exercise, blood pressure and hearing, a new report suggests.
Approximately 45 million people worldwide were thought to be living with dementia in 2015, at an estimated cost of $818bn.
“There are a lot of things that individuals can do, and there are a lot of things that public health and policy can do, to reduce the numbers of people developing dementia,” said Gill Livingston, professor of psychiatry of older people at University College London and a co-author of the report.
For many of the factors, including exercise and social activities, the best approach to reducing dementia risk is not yet clear, but Livingston stresses that steps can still be taken. “We expect it to be a long-term change that will be needed for exercise; joining a gym for two weeks is probably not going to do it,” she said.
Clive Ballard, professor of age-related diseases at the University of Exeter medical school and also a co-author of the report, added that the evidence suggests individuals should also try to follow a Mediterranean diet, maintain a healthy weight and keep an eye on their blood pressure.
In total, the study looked at nine lifestyle factors linked to an increased risk of dementia.
“Though it’s not inevitable, dementia is currently set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer. We all need to be aware of the risks and start making positive lifestyle changes.”