Can Dementia be prevented? Oxford Experts Disclose the 12 Modifiable Risk Factors

The Modifying Dementia Risk group, under the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University, conducted a study on the influence of 12 risk factors that predispose to dementia and cognitive decline.

The study was led by Dr. Sarah Bauermeister and supported by Dementias Platform UK and Alzheimer's Research UK and examined the impact of these risk factors––as identified in the Lancet 2020 Commission––on dementia and cognitive decline development.

Their research revealed the following potential risk factors associated with dementia progression:

1. Lack of education

2. Hypertension

3. Obesity

4. Alcohol consumption

5. Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

6. Hearing loss

7. Smoking

8. Depression

9. Physical inactivity

10. Social isolation

11. Diabetes

12. Air pollution

According to the Lancet, dementia cases are projected to rise up to 152 million by 2050. Experts at Oxford University have recommended eight lifestyle habits to mitigate the risk; this entails:

Adhering to a Mediterranean diet – renders a positive impact on brain health, reducing the risk of conditions like diabetes and obesity. Maintaining healthy blood glucose levels and body weight lower the chances of dementia development.

Limiting alcohol intake to a maximum of seven units per week.

Quitting smoking

Engaging in regular exercise

Being socially active

Participating in intellectual activities, such as reading, art, and hobbies

Ensuring adequate sleep

Availing hearing aids – if experiencing hearing loss

The information and recommendations are aimed at addressing the growing concern related to dementia and promoting healthy lifestyles to mitigate the associated risk factors.

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