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Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Dementia, According To A New Report

17 May 2019

Fifty million people worldwide have dementia, and Alzheimer's disease is the most common type. The condition affects memory, learning capacity, language ability, comprehension, cognition, judgment, and calculation.

Fiona Carragher, chief policy and research officer at Alzheimer's Society, said: "Dementia is the biggest health challenge of our generation, so the WHO's clear commitment to spearheading the global fight against the condition through a public health approach is to be welcomed".

"In the next 30 years, the number of people with dementia is expected to triple", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement, stressing that "we need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia". World Health Organization acknowledged though that there is not enough scientific evidence that increased social activity actually reduces the risk of developing dementia.

Dementia is an illness characterized by a deterioration in cognitive function beyond what might be expected from normal ageing.

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The guidelines recommend exercising regularly and following a healthy lifestyle, rather than relying on vitamin supplements or other pills.

The disease also exacts a heavy economic toll, with the cost of caring for people with dementia estimated to rise to $2 trillion annually by 2030, according to WHO. However, there was not always strong evidence that dementia risk would be reduced with these steps.

It urged healthcare providers to use the guidelines provided by the organisation in advising patients on what they can do to prevent cognitive decline and dementia.

"While some people are unlucky and inherit a combination of genes that makes it highly likely they will develop dementia, many people have the opportunity to substantially reduce their risk by living a healthy lifestyle", Tara Spires-Jones, a professor at the University of Edinburgh and program leader at the UK Dementia Research Institute, told the Science Media Center Tuesday.

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"There is now no evidence to show that taking these supplements actually reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and in fact, we know that in high doses these can be harmful", said the WHO's Dr. Neerja Chowdhary. Social activity is also important to maintain overall well being and the report states: "Social disengagement conversely, has been shown to place older individuals at increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia".

It also warned of a link between hearing loss and depression.

World Health Organization said that iSupport was now being used in eight countries, adding that the organisation will soon facilitate the adoption of the programme by more countries.

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Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Dementia, According To A New Report