The 9 Things That Elevate Your Dementia Risk Alarmingly
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The 9 Things That Elevate Your Dementia Risk Alarmingly

Mental Wellbeing
Team healthhunt
4 min read

The 9 Things That Elevate Your Dementia Risk Alarmingly

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The world sees a new dementia case every 3 seconds. An estimated 46.8 million people were living with dementia in 2015, a number estimated to be close to 50 million people in 2017. This number will almost double every 20 years.

What is dementia? One of the biggest concerns that come with age is a worry that one’s mental acumen may deteriorate as age advances. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60-80 per cent of cases”. Reports suggest that more than 50 million people globally have dementia in some form, and the numbers are likely to more than double by 2050.

What does the study say 

A new study, conducted by 24 experts from across the globe, with Dr Gill Livingston from University College London at the helm, has now been published in the medical journal The Lancet. It states that more than a third of dementia cases worldwide could be prevented if some factors were kept in mind, and if the brain’s health was made top priority from an early age. While there have been some who dispute the findings of the report, it is quite clear that there is a link between the factors they talk about in the report and dementia, and that this is one area that needs to be explored further.

Risk factors

The 9 factors that have been found to have a big impact on dementia, as per the study, are:
  • A poor childhood education
  • Loss of hearing
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Low physical activity
  • Social isolation
Till recently, it was believed that dementia was a by-product of ageing and that nothing could be done to reverse or slow it down, but this report gives hope to millions. Of these factors, experts say that almost 35 per cent of dementia cases can be prevented by making the necessary lifestyle changes, and that’s a big number. It has been found that those that are prone to depression or have spent much of their time in isolation, as well as those who have not studied beyond primary level, lose brain elasticity quicker, and this increases their risk of getting dementia.

Sign to watch out for

According to The Alzheimer Society, some of the signs that one should watch out for include the inability to remember new things or things that are part of one’s routine. If you find yourself struggling to complete seemingly easy tasks like getting ready or cooking, the warning bell should go off. Disorientation, difficulty in speaking rapidly, and exhibiting changes in behaviour patterns are other warning signs that all is not well with your brain.

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