Eliminating obesity and type 2 diabetes could help prevent dementia

Dementia is preventable Blood pressure is one of the modifiable risks

While interventions for these risk factors would not delay, prevent or cure all dementia cases, there is much to gain, the authors say.

"With several failed drug trials and without full understanding of the etiology of Alzheimer's disease for developing better therapeutics, dementia specialists have shifted their focus to prevention", writes MedPage Today editor Kristina Fiore, who is attending the meeting. "So, that's really exciting, and people are talking now about preventing Alzheimer's disease like we've never done before".

The commission brought together 24 worldwide experts to systematically review existing research and provide evidence-based recommendations for treating and preventing dementia.

Thus, increase education in early life would reduce the total number of cases of dementia of 8% if all were pursuing their studies in the secondary school, according to the estimate advanced.

The report presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2017 comprised the proficiency of 24 experts across the globe in providing a complete review of dementia, including 10 main messages to help improve dementia care. It's believed that education and other mentally stimulating tasks help the brain strengthen its networks so it can continue to function at a higher level even if it starts to decline later in life. They estimated that reducing hearing loss in mid-life could also reduce the number of dementia cases by 9 percent if all people were treated.

For the first time, the researchers also identified hearing loss as a major modifiable risk factor for dementia.

Smoking has a negative impact on the cardiovascular system, and previous research has linked cardiovascular problems with dementia, the researchers said.

"They may work in similar ways as they reduce the chance of interactions and conversations, which are like exercise for the brain and enrich it and predispose to depression", she said.

Quitting smoking could reduce the number of cases by five percent, it said.

Avoiding smoking in later life is important for reducing exposure to neurotoxins and improving heart health, which has an effect on the health of the brain.

And later in life, depression, diabetes, physical inactivity, smoking and low social contact. "This includes providing safe and effective social and health-care interventions in order to integrate people with dementia within their communities".

It also calls for widespread supports for family caregivers, who bear most of dementia's burdens.

During midlife, protecting hearing ability and treatment of hearing loss are important for preventing dementia.

Not all of the nine risk factors identified are easily modifiable, factors like poor education and social isolation are incredibly challenging to address.

"We welcome the broader, societal approach outlined in this research, and certainly the idea that we all need to take individual responsibility, usually by making relatively small lifestyle changes - at all stages of life - to "dementia-proof" our own health, and that of our families".

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