Friday, August 06, 2010

Slowing down the dementia epidemic

Researchers estimate that 820,000 people in the U.K. have dementia - a number predicted to double by 2050. A team of researchers in France and the U.K. have been looking at the best ways to prevent more people developing the condition and have concluded that fighting diabetes and depression, eating more fruit and vegetables and having a better-educated population are the way forward. The researchers studied 1,433 people, all over 65, in the South of France. They tested their cognition two, four and seven years after the start of the study and asked the participants a number of questions about their lifestyle and education. They then used the results to estimate how much different measures could reduce the percentage of people developing Alzheimer's. They found that a combination of eliminating depression and diabetes and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption would lead to a 21% drop in new cases of dementia. Eliminating depression would have the most powerful effect leading to a 10% fall in the number of cases. Increasing education could lead to an 18% reduction in new cases of Alzheimer's more than double the effect of eliminating the main, known genetic risk factor which would only lead to a 7% fall.

You can find out more about this research by clicking on the title of this post.

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