What factors can raise or lower Dementia risk?

September 18, 2020

According to the NHS, Dementia refers to a group of symptoms associated with the gradual decline of the brain and its abilities. Symptoms include problems with memory loss, language and thinking speed.

Around 65% of the risk of developing Dementia is due to factors you can’t control, such as ageing and family history. However some factors have been proven to reduce your risk.

A review by the Lancet highlights that although there are potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia, this does not mean dementia as a condition is preventable or easy to treat. These factors were attributed to numbers of the population with the certain outcome which was Dementia.

 Some of these modifiable risk factors include:

  • Low levels of education
  • Midlife hearing loss
  • Physical inactivity
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Depression
  • Social isolation

 It is evident that there are multiple risk factors contributing to the onset of the disease. There are changes you can make to prevent the onset of Dementia such as:

  • Switching to a Mediterranean diet, which is largely based on vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans, cereal grains, olive oil and fish. This has been proven to improve cardiovascular health, and may help with the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
  • Meet the recommended physical activity levels for adults. Regular exercise may help with the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
  • Use cognitive training, which involves a series of tests and tasks to improve memory, attention and reasoning skills.
  • Become more socially active. This could be by organising social activities – book clubs, teas and lunches at your local centre.
  • Quit smoking. This is proven to improve cardiovascular health as well as overall health and wellbeing.

 A newer study also supports the Lancets findings that Individuals with genetic risk factors for Dementia can still reduce their risk by improving their cardiovascular health. The study found that dementia-associated common gene variants can more than double Dementia risk, but that good cardiovascular health can in fact halve this risk.

“We have long maintained that genetics is not destiny, that the impact of your family history and genetic risk can be lowered by healthy lifestyle choices. This is true for persons with low genetic risk and also for persons with high genetic risk of dementia, so it is never too soon and never too late to adopt a ‘heart-healthy lifestyle,” Dr. Sudha Seshadri, founding director of the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases.

 The researchers found that participants with a high genetic risk score based on several common gene variants were 2.6 times more likely to develop Dementia than participants with a low genetic risk score. Previous research has suggested that cardiovascular health affects a person’s risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s as found in the Lancet study mentioned above.

 In conclusion, adopting a healthy lifestyle can also help reduce your cancer risk, heart health and stroke prevention and diabetes management as well as reducing your risk of Dementia. Changing a few factors today, can help you have a healthier tomorrow.

Have read some more of our news blogs such as Simple Dementia care anyone can give or Homecare essential products you may be missing.

Dementia Care at Cavendish Homecare

We know that being diagnosed with Dementia can have a huge emotional, social, and psychological effect on both the person suffering and their family. Therefore we ensure specialist care in the comfort of one’s own home.

If you would like more information about our Dementia Care service, please contact one of our experts who will be happy to help either by telephone on 0203 008 5210 or email us at info@cavendishhomecare.com.


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