Switching to a healthy lifestyle helps reduce risk of dementia

Switching to a healthy lifestyle helps reduce risk of dementia

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) new guidelines released in May 2019, it is possible to counteract the development of dementia by exercising regularly, not smoking, avoiding the harmful use of alcohol, monitoring your weight, proper diet and maintaining normal levels of blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

Since dementia is an incurable condition, the key health measures are early detection, treatment, care and support. It is recommended that you use the new guidelines and principles developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in your practice.

«The number of people with dementia is projected to triple in 30 years»

Said WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus.

Unfortunately, many people with dementia are diagnosed too late, and treatment options are then less effective. Since dementia remains a condition without a cure, early detection, treatment, care and support are key in terms of an effective public health response. Risk reduction strategies, such as pursuing a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and by not smoking, are also very important, commented Bente Mikkelsen, Director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-course, WHO/Europe. Since dementia is an incurable condition, early detection, treatment, care and support are key effective health measures.

The WHO Guidelines for Reducing the Risk of Cognitive Disorders and Dementia provide an information base for health and medical professionals. It is intended to assist in patient counseling for the prevention of cognitive impairment and the development of dementia. They will also be useful to government agencies and policy makers, government planning and management agencies in developing strategies and programs that promote healthy lifestyles.

The WHO Global Dementia Observatory, launched in December 2017, is an information platform that includes data on country activities and resources regarding confronting dementia, including national plans, monitoring, research, government programs, campaigns, and institutions involved in this field. Data from 21 countries, including Bangladesh, Chile, France, Japan, Togo, and Jordan, are already included in the database, and a total of 80 countries are currently contributing their own data.

But what is dementia?

Dementia is a disease in which there is deterioration of cognitive function below the level expected with normal aging. This disease affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, computational and cognitive abilities, speech, and judgment. Dementia develops as a result of a number of diseases and brain injuries, such as Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

Dementia is a rapidly growing public health problem, affecting about 50 million people worldwide. About 10 million new cases of dementia occur each year. The disease is one of the major causes of disability and the lack of self-sufficiency of the elderly. In addition, dementia places a heavy economic burden on societies as a whole-it is estimated that the cost of providing care for people with dementia will rise to $2 trillion by 2030.

Sources

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Switching to a healthy lifestyle helps reduce risk of dementia

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