These 12 things can prevent dementia effectively

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Dementia affects some 50 million people globally, a number that is expected to more than triple by 2050.

In a recent study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, researchers found that modifying 12 risk factors over a lifetime could delay or prevent 40% of dementia cases.

They added 3 new risk factors in the report — excessive alcohol intake and head injury in mid-life and air pollution in later life.

These are in addition to 9 factors previously identified by the commission in 2017: less education early in life; mid-life hearing loss, hypertension, and obesity; and smoking, depression, social isolation, physical inactivity, and diabetes later in life (65 and up).

The study is from the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care. One author is Lon Schneider, MD.

In the study, the team conducted thorough research of all the best evidence in the field, including systematic literature reviews, meta-analyses, and individual studies, to reach their conclusions.

They recommend that people adopt the following interventions to prevent dementia:

Aim to maintain the systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or less from the age of 40.

Encourage the use of hearing aids for hearing loss and reduce hearing loss by protecting ears from high noise levels.

Reduce exposure to air pollution and second-hand tobacco smoke.

Prevent head injury (particularly by targeting high-risk occupations).

Limit alcohol intake to no more than 21 units per week (one unit of alcohol equals 10 ml or 8 g pure alcohol).

Stop smoking and support others to stop smoking.

Provide all children with primary and secondary education.

Lead an active life into mid-life and possibly later life.

Reduce obesity and the linked condition of diabetes.

The report also advocates for holistic, individualized, and evidence-based care for patients with dementia, who typically have more hospitalizations for conditions that are potentially manageable at home and are at greater risk for COVID-19.

In addition, it recommends providing interventions for family caregivers who are at risk for depression and anxiety.

If you care about dementia, please read studies about an aspirin a day does not keep dementia at bay and findings of these personality traits may protect you from dementia.

For more information about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, please see recent studies about if your memory feels like it’s not what it once was, it could mean future dementia and results showing that dementia: eating plenty of apples, berries and tea linked to lower risk.

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