Science Says It: Here’s What You Can Do To Avoid Dementia

Cases of dementia, a syndrome characterized mainly by impaired memory and reasoning, are on the rise in the world, yet only a small minority of countries have a plan to fight it, the WHO warned.

According to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO), dementia, the most common cause of which is Alzheimer’s disease, affects more than 55 million people worldwide.

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This number is projected to increase to 78 million in 2030 and to 139 million in 2050 due to the aging of the population.

Dementia, a syndrome in which there is a degradation of the ability to perform daily activities, affects approximately 90% of those over 65 years of age. However, it is not an inevitable consequence of aging.

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How can it be avoided?

There is no treatment to cure this condition, but studies have shown that 40% of cases could be prevented or delayed by exercising regularly, not smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, eating healthy, and controlling weight and blood pressure levels. blood, cholesterol and glucose in blood.

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Other risk factors are depression, low level of education, social isolation and cognitive inactivity.

However, the report reveals that only a quarter (26%) of WHO Member States have a dementia plan, half of them in Europe.

“We need governments to pay more attention to dementia policy development,” said Katrin Seeher of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Psychoactive Substance Use.

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However, the expert recognized that it was necessary “to be realistic and see that dementia competes with many other public health problems”, particularly in developing countries.

WHO also encourages disadvantaged countries to integrate the problem of dementia into public health policies on noncommunicable diseases or into old-age policy strategies.