People develop dementia later than before

People develop dementia later than before

The diagnosis is one that a family never wants to hear: Your father has Alzheimer’s disease. Your mother has stroke-related dementia.

In a recently released study, researchers find that compared to the past, people might be developing dementia later and living with it for a shorter period of time.

Researchers from UT Health San Antonio drew evidence from the Framingham Heart Study.

They used data from four different time periods over a period of 30 years.

They found that the mean age at dementia onset increased, while the length of time living with dementia decreased.

Is it because prevention and care of stroke today is superior compared to decades ago? Stroke is a major risk factor for dementia.

The authors suggest that prevention of stroke and reduced impact of stroke are great advances, but neither completely explains the trend they are seeing.

There might be other causes, such as lower burden of multiple infections because of vaccination, and possibly lower levels of lead or other pollutants in the atmosphere.

Early education and nutrition might also play a role.

Stroke risk has decreased because of greater control of blood pressure.

The team said that In the past, if people had a stroke, they were at 90% greater risk to develop dementia. Today, the risk is much lower, only 40%.

The study is published in a special supplement to the Journal of Gerontology.

Copyright © 2018 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.

Follow Knowridge Science Report on Facebook and Twitter.

Figure legend: This image is for illustrative purposes only.