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



Nearly half (48.5%) of Americans in their 50s and early 60s fear that they tend to develop dementia with age, but only 5.2% of those who actually talk to doctors about the steps that are they can take to reduce risk, a study published this month concluded. What's more, some people turn to crosswords and other similar solutions that have no proven preventive effect.

Instead, many are involved in strategies to help their memories that are not based on evidence, the authors – who conduct research in psychiatry and internal medicine at the University of Michigan – say. "While managing chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, can reduce the risk of dementia, some respondents seem to have discussed this with their doctors."

Interest in treatment and prevention has shifted earlier in the disease process. Policies and doctors must emphasize evidence-based strategies.

—New research paper published in JAMA

"Interest in treatment and prevention has shifted earlier in the disease process," he said. "Middle-aged adults may not accurately estimate their risk of dementia. Policies and doctors must emphasize the current evidence-based strategy of managing lifestyle and chronic medical conditions to reduce the risk of dementia. "

The research paper, published by the medical journal JAMA, says many older Americans seem unaware of ways to reduce the risk of developing dementia and use "ineffective choices," such as vitamin E, gingko biloba – a popular supplement derived from the maidenhair tree maidenhair – is thought to improve cognitive function, but has no proven effect for that purpose.

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

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

Drinking at least one artificial drink every day is associated with almost three times the risk of stroke or dementia.

—2017 study of the American Heart Association journal

"This research provides a very important message that undermines a fatalistic view of dementia," said co-author David Llewellyn, a professor at Exeter Medical School and colleagues at the Alan Turing Institute. "Some people believe it's inevitable they will develop dementia because of their genetics." However, this research says that might not be the case.

The study, published Monday by scientists at the University of Exeter and presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Los Angeles, said that those who were more likely to develop dementia reported eating more sugar and salt, and did not engage in physical activity regularly, smoke and drink more than moderate amounts of alcohol.

A 2017 study found a fifth item worth avoiding: Artificial sweeteners. "Drinking at least one artificially sweetened drink every day is associated with almost three times the risk of stroke or dementia compared with those who drink artificially sweetened drinks less than once a week," according to research published in the journal American Heart Association. Blow."

The researchers also found a statistically significant relationship between dementia and exposure to anticholinergic drugs, especially antidepressants, anti-psychotic drugs, anti-Parkinson's drugs, anti-epileptic drugs and bladder antimuscarinics, which are used to treat urinary incontinence, according to other studies in JAMA Internal Medicine.


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