Dementia: Are Some Cases Preventable.

Recent research published in Lancet and reported by the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care stated that managing lifestyle factors such as hearing loss, smoking, hypertension, and depression could prevent one-third of the world’s dementia cases. They also said nonpharmacological interventions such as social contact and exercise for people with dementia are beneficial. Researchers said “There’s been a great deal of focus on developing medicines to prevent dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.” ” But we can’t lose sight of the real major advances we’ve already made in treating dementia, including preventive approaches.”

Twenty four international experts were brought together to systematically review existing research and provide evidence=based recommendations for treating and preventing dementia. Nine risk factors were identified in early, mid and late life that increase the likelihood of developing dementia. They said by increasing education in early life and addressing hearing loss, hypertension, and obesity dementia could be reduced by up to 20 percent. In late life stopping smoking, treating depression, increasing physical activity, increasing social activities, and managing diabetes could reduce dementia by another 15 percent. Evaluating medications they said “Antipsychotic drugs are commonly used to treat agitation and aggression. but there are substantial concern about these drugs because of an increased risk of death, cardiovascular adverse events and infections, not to mention excessive sedation.”

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