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Cutting Dementia Risk

June 18, 2019

In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO), came out with its first recommendations on ways to delay or slow the onset of dementia. It recognized that while there is no cure for dementia, there are things that can be done proactively to stem this rapidly growing public health problem (dementia affects around 50 million people worldwide with nearly 10 million new cases every year). After extensive research and collaboration with international experts the WHO guidelines, “Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia,” were released. They include:
  • Get regular exercise
  • Stop smoking as it’s for bad for cognition and has other health benefits
  • Eat well - a healthy, balanced diet is recommended and WHO also mentioned the Mediterranean-like diet as an example
  • Avoid Vitamins B and E, polyunsaturated fatty acids and multi-complex supplements
  • Avoid hazardous and harmful drinking
  • Cognitive (brain) training may be beneficial but the quality of evidence is still low
  • Be social - although there is no proof that it will stop or slow dementia, staying connected with friends is linked with good health and wellbeing
  • Keep a healthy weight - this goes hand in hand with eating a good diet and getting enough exercise to stay fit and healthy
  • Manage high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
The WHO report can be found here.