Is dementia preventable? Sometimes, it is. In fact, 40% of dementia cases could be avoided by addressing certain science-backed risk factors. Check out our new interactive guide to learn more.
Researchers project the number of people living with dementia, a neurodegenerative syndrome which currently afflicts 50 million people worldwide, will more than triple by 2050, soaring to 152 million cases globally. On a person-by-person basis, dementia is not necessarily preventable — sometimes it’s due to factors beyond our control, like genetics. But experts in a recent report say two in five dementia cases could potentially be delayed or prevented by certain lifestyle choices and government policies that have been found to significantly lower risk. In fact, scientists have narrowed a list down to 12 key factors that could help delay or prevent as many as 40 percent of all dementia cases.
In Being Patient’s new (shareable!) interactive guide, 12 Ways to Delay or Prevent Dementia, you’ll find science-backed strategies for protecting brain health and reducing dementia risk. This list is based on peer-reviewed, trusted research into nine dementia risk factors identified by the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care. We’ve also added three additional key risk factors: air pollution, traumatic brain injury and excessive consumption of alcohol.
Eric Larson, an author of the study and senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, said just as people can’t control their genetics, people in their 40s can’t retroactively change their socioeconomic circumstances in early life — but people of all ages can, to varying extents, make lifestyle choices like habitual exercising to improve their health.
“In my own [clinical] practice, I’ve been telling patients it would be a good idea to exercise regularly,” Larson said. “When they found out that you could preserve your brain and reduce your risk of dementia, it was actually a powerful motivator for many people to become a regular exerciser.” For more science-backed guidance into dementia prevention, check out the guide — and share it with a loved one.
Click below to explore the guide: