Medical Journal Studies Dementia Prevention

Medical Journal Studies Dementia Prevention

Odds are, you’ve heard about the growing risk of dementia in our aging population. Over five million Americans live with the condition, and as many as 16 million are projected to be living with the condition by 2050. One in three cases of dementia could be prevented by reducing risk factors, according to a landmark review in the Lancet, an international medical journal.

A team of 24 experts identified nine health and lifestyle factors, including smoking, hearing loss and limited education.

They proposed three strategies to prevent cognitive decline and dementia related to aging. Scientific evidence suggests that regular physical activity, low blood pressure and healthy mental stimulation could lower the total number of dementia cases by 35 percent.

Continued education throughout life may also play a major role in decreasing the chances of developing dementia. Studies have shown the benefits of education and physical activity help to strengthen the brain’s networks. This cognitive reserve resists losses even as aging occurs.

Though interventions cannot definitively prevent or cure all causes of dementia, researchers recommend sustained lifestyle changes such as:

Increase:                                                             Decrease:

Education                                                            Depression                         Hearing Loss

Physical Activity                                                Diabetes                              Hypertension

Social Contact                                                    Obesity                                 Smoking

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Photo Credit: Seattle Parks

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