Preventing dementia is possible, and there are many ways to do so. Several factors contribute to its risk, such as lifestyle changes, brain-healthy diet, exercise, and mental and social activity. Combining preventive methods is a better approach than adopting one method alone. Dementia prevention is a multidimensional process that involves lifestyle modifications and medical risk management. Listed below are five of the most important ones. They are: lifestyle changes, Medical risk management, Early detection, and Multidomain interventions.
An integrated multidomain intervention may be the most promising approach for preventing dementia. According to a recent study, participants in this trial showed a lower risk of having slowness or limitations in instrumental activities of daily living than the usual care group. This finding supports earlier studies showing the value of combining pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. The results of the MIND-ADmini trial are expected to be published in December 2019.
These trials have a number of important findings, including the high level of precision in risk reduction. For example, the FINGER trial was conducted among people with increased dementia risk but without significant cognitive/functional impairment. This finding suggests that multidomain interventions are most effective among individuals who are at high risk, and earlier intervention is most likely to be effective. The MIND-AD trial will also serve as a prototype for future trials incorporating pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.
According to the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, there are many lifestyle factors that reduce the risk of developing dementia. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity are at increased risk. By changing these lifestyle factors, people can improve their physical and mental health and reduce their risk of dementia. A few lifestyle changes can go a long way. The study suggests some lifestyle habits to follow:
Physical activity – Engaging in brisk walking, swimming, cycling, and other activities that increase your heart rate should be a priority. Physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy brain, so choosing exercises that increase physical activity is a good start. Exercising regularly also helps reduce the risk of dementia. In addition, exercising regularly increases blood circulation, improves the functioning of blood vessels, and reduces inflammation. Research suggests that people who stop smoking are less likely to develop dementia.
Medical risk management
Although evidence for the benefits of medical risk management for the prevention of dementia is strong, barriers to implementation remain. These barriers are entrenched in primary care, making it difficult to introduce a change in routine practice without first addressing underlying organisational realities. In this paper, we discuss the benefits of dementia risk reduction interventions and how to implement them. We also look at the challenges associated with implementation. Listed below are some recommendations for PCPs.
The main limitations of existing clinical trials are their short durations. Clinical trials typically last only a couple of years, so dementia is an unlikely outcome of the intervention. Furthermore, it is difficult to obtain data on the effects of multidomain interventions on dementia incidence because of the long time between brain pathology and the onset of dementia. Nevertheless, multifactor risk scores allow continuous monitoring of the impact of interventions on dementia risk. To improve clinical trials, dementia risk scores can be used to inform treatment plans for those at high risk of developing the disease.
Early detection of dementia is important because it delays institutionalization. Dementia patients who are diagnosed too late are burdensome for both families and the health care system. Early diagnosis of dementia relies on several important factors, including improved diagnostic abilities of general practitioners, implementation of the necessary care systems after the diagnosis, and the organization of volunteer support groups in local communities. An integrated community care system must be tailored to meet the unique needs of each patient and their caregivers. The focus on social participation and community involvement also addresses the critical human resource shortage.
Symptoms of dementia may include changes in memory and thinking processes. People may also experience changes in their personality, behavior, and day-to-day function. If you notice any of these changes, contact a doctor right away. Depending on the symptoms, early detection may lead to treatment that can slow or reverse the progression of dementia. While early detection can be difficult, it’s important to act promptly and seek medical care for your loved one.
Increasing the awareness of dementia is key to effective intervention. More than half of people with dementia don’t even know they have it. Unfortunately, this makes them vulnerable to risky behaviors. Research suggests that detecting dementia at an early stage is essential to preventing the development of the disease and helping people live a happy and fulfilled life. Early diagnosis can make all the difference, as it can help families take steps to provide support, care, and caregiving during the final phase of a loved one’s life.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that an early intervention can reduce the risk of dementia by up to 80%. The intervention was cost-effective in both groups and the patients benefited. The net benefits of the intervention were greater among younger cohorts, although the mortality effect meant that fewer people survived to experience the standard intervention. For the same cost, early intervention is the most effective way to delay the onset of dementia in the most vulnerable patients.