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Half of older Americans are afraid that they will develop dementia – why most methods of their prevention are wrong



Nearly half (48.5%) of Americans between the ages of 50 and 60 fear that they may develop dementia with age, but only 5.2% of them actually talked with the doctor about the measures they could take to risk reduction, a study published this month is completed. Moreover, some people turned to crosswords and other similar solutions that do not have a proven preventive effect.

Instead, many have devised strategies to help their memory, which is not evidence-based, say authors who conduct research in psychiatry and internal medicine at the University of Michigan. “Although treating chronic diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease can reduce the risk of developing dementia, only a few respondents discuss this with their doctor.”

Interest in treatment and prevention has shifted earlier in the disease process. Politicians and physicians should emphasize evidence-based strategies.

—New JAMA research article

“Interest in treatment and prevention has shifted earlier in the process of the disease,” the report said. “Middle-aged adults may not accurately assess the risk of developing dementia. Politicians and doctors should focus on modern, scientifically based strategies for managing lifestyle and chronic diseases to reduce the risk of dementia. ”

A study published by the medical journal JAMA says that many aging Americans do not seem to be aware of ways to reduce the risk of developing dementia and resort to "ineffective options" such as vitamin E, gingko biloba – a popular supplement derived from a girl’s haircut – considered that improves cognitive function, but has no proven effects for this purpose.

A separate study recently published in a peer-reviewed JAMA found that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you reduce your risk of developing dementia, even if you have a genetic risk for the disease. The study analyzed data from 196,383 adults of European descent aged 60 years and older. From this sample, researchers identified 1,769 cases of dementia over an eight-year follow-up period.

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Participants with a high genetic risk and an unfavorable lifestyle are almost three times more likely to develop dementia than people with a low genetic risk and a favorable lifestyle. However, the risk of dementia was 32% lower in people with a high genetic risk if they had a healthy lifestyle compared to people with an unhealthy lifestyle.

Drinking at least one artificially sweetened drink per day was associated with an almost three times greater risk of developing stroke or dementia.

—2017 Journal of the American Heart Association Journal Study

“This study provides a really important message that undermines the fatalistic view of dementia,” said co-author David Llewellyn, associate professor at the University of Exeter School of Medicine and a fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. "Some people find it inevitable that they will develop dementia due to their genetics." However, this study says that this may not be so.

This study, published on Monday by scientists at the University of Exeter and presented at the Alzheimer's Los Angeles Association International Conference, said those who were more likely to get dementia reported that they consumed more sugar and salt and did not engage in regular physical activity, smoked cigarettes and drank more moderate amounts of alcohol.

A study in 2017 revealed a fifth point to avoid: artificial sweeteners. "Drinking at least one artificially sweetened drink per day was associated with an almost three times greater risk of developing stroke or dementia compared to those who drank artificially sweetened drinks less than once a week," says a study published in the journal of the American Association Heart "Stroke."

The researchers also found a statistically significant association between dementia and the effects of anticholinergics, especially antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiparkinsonian drugs, antiepileptic drugs, and antimuscarinic bladders, which are used to treat urinary incontinence, according to another study at JAMA Internal Medicine.


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