Is dementia preventable

Dementia: more than 40 percent of the cases preventable

So far, doctors have known nine risk factors that favor dementia and can be influenced, above all, by a healthy lifestyle. Now three have been added. If you were to minimize all twelve, the risk of dementia could be reduced by 40 percent, report British researchers.

Dementia is incurable, but it can be influenced

50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, 1.6 million of them in Germany alone. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be up to 2.8 million. The reason for this is the increasing life expectancy of people. Even if the disease has not yet been curable, its development and course can be influenced.

According to the "Report of the Lancet Commission 2020", which was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC), 40 percent of all dementia cases could be prevented or at least significantly delayed if all risk factors were minimized.

Twelve preventable risk factors for dementia

As early as 2017, researchers identified nine factors that increase the risk of dementia:

  • Hearing loss
  • low level of education
  • Smoke
  • Lack of social contact
  • Depression and mental stress
  • high blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes mellitus

In the study published in July, experts led by Professor Gill Livingstone from University College London have now added three further risk factors for dementia:

  • Head injuries (traumatic brain injury)
  • Air pollution
  • excessive alcohol consumption

It's never too late for prevention

The authors emphasize that it is never too late in life to start with dementia prevention. The newly identified risk factor head injury, which can be caused by head injuries in traffic and sports, is significant for everyday life.

"This shows that bicycle helmets or helmets provide protection against later dementia in certain high-risk sports," says Professor Peter Berlit, Secretary General of the German Society for Neurology (DGN). The harmful effects of alcohol and air pollution are also important risk factors that can be significantly reduced through personal lifestyle and environmental protection measures.

In addition, the following applies: Stay mentally, physically and socially active in middle and later life. Regular exercise in mid-life and in old age protects against dementia and reduces the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. If you are hard of hearing, you should use a hearing aid at an early stage to avoid communication problems and increasing social isolation. If there is depression, this should also be treated quickly.

"National dementia strategy" is intended to help prevent this

A national dementia strategy was developed from the new findings, which the German Society for Neurology helped to shape. The aim is to sensitize the population in Germany to the topic of dementia prevention and to offer optimal treatment and counseling services for demented patients and their relatives.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.

more on the subject

  • Subjects:
  • Health,
  • Diseases,
  • Symptoms,
  • Dementia,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Air pollution,
  • Obesity,
  • Diabetes,
  • Cardiovascular diseases,
  • Alcoholic,
  • Hearing loss