- An international, multidisciplinary group has updated guidelines for dementia prevention, intervention, and care.
Why this matters
- The prevalence of dementia is rising.
- Emergence of new evidence since guidelines last published in 2017.
- Guidelines list 9 previously identified modifiable risk factors and 3 new ones:
- Less education.
- Hearing impairment.
- Physical inactivity.
- Infrequent social contact.
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
- Head injury.
- Air pollution.
- Up to 40% of dementia cases could be prevented or delayed by modifying these 12 risk factors.
- Guidelines-recommended actions to address risk factors include:
- Maintain normal systolic BP.
- Encourage use of hearing aids for hearing loss.
- Limit alcohol use.
- Reduce obesity and diabetes.
- Sustain midlife and possibly later-life physical activity.
- Guidelines also endorse interventions to address inequality in risk factors to protect people with dementia.
- Guidelines-recommended actions for dementia care:
- Provide holistic postdiagnostic care.
- Manage neuropsychiatric symptoms.
- Care for family caregivers.
- International, multidisciplinary commission reviewed the best available evidence on dementia.
- Main outcome: updated guidelines.
- Funding: University College London; Alzheimer’s Society, UK; Economic and Social Research Council; Alzheimer’s Research UK.
- Assumptions were used in calculating new model.
- Varying prevalence of risk factors across countries.
- Inability to determine whether risk factors are additive or synergistic.