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Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.
An expert in Alzheimer disease describes some of the struggles dementia patients might be going through during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the population aging, it might become increasingly important to mitigate some of the symptoms of dementia to prevent a public health crisis.
Recently, a team of investigators from the University College London (UCL), released a new report summarizing preventative dementia care and what steps should be taken to truly reduce the amount of people diagnosed with dementia.
According to the report, the age-specific incidence of dementia is decreasing in many countries, likely due to improvements in education, nutrition, health care, and lifestyle changes. This lends credence to the belief that there are a number of modifiable risk factors that can reduce the risk of developing dementia.
There were already 9 known risk factors for dementia: less education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, and low social contact.
The UCL researchers have added excessive alcohol consumption, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution to the list of modifiable risk factors for dementia.
The investigators believe the 12 risk factors account for approximately 40% of dementia cases around the world and should drive preventative measures to reduce dementia incidence.
In an interview with HCPLive®, Naahaad Mukadam, PhD, Division of Psychiatry, University College London, explained how the report could yield some policy changes around the world and how dementia patients could be struggling during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The study, "Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission," was published online in The Lancet.