Ten warning signs of dementia: Stress, depression and obesity are among risk factors linked to Alzheimer’s, researchers say
- An international team led by Fudan University in China analysed 395 studies
- Found 10 steps, backed by evidence, that reduce risk of developing disease
- Include getting good education and doing mentally stimulating activities
- The scientists add that clinicians should look out for hyperhomocysteinemia
- This is a condition where too much of the hormone homocysteine is in the blood
Dementia researchers have made a list of ten risk factors for doctors to watch out for.
An international team led by Fudan University in China analysed 395 studies and found ten steps, backed by strong evidence, that reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
They include getting a good education and doing mentally stimulating activities such as reading. Avoiding diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and blood pressure, depression, stress and head trauma in midlife is also recommended.
The scientists add that clinicians should look out for hyperhomocysteinemia – where too much of the hormone homocysteine, found in red meat, is in the blood.
Dementia researchers have made a list of ten risk factors for doctors to watch out for (stock image)
Around 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, and it is the country’s biggest cause of death.
However there is no cure, and there has been no new drug treatment for almost twenty years.
The study, the world’s largest ever research into preventing Alzheimer’s disease, concluded that there were 19 steps people could take to reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Ten of these were backed by strong evidence. These include receiving a good education, life, participating in mentally stimulating activities such as reading, and avoiding diabetes, stress, depression, head trauma, and high blood pressure in midlife.
Nine other suggestions of ways to prevent dementia had slightly weaker evidence to support them and included exercising, getting enough sleep, avoiding smoking, and including vitamin C in the diet.
Experts have predicted a surge in dementia cases as the world’s population ages, and the study authors said their findings could help doctors to spot the disease early.
An international team led by Fudan University in China analysed 395 studies and found ten steps, backed by strong evidence, that reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (stock image)
Professor Jin-Tai Yu, who led the project, said: ‘Nearly two-thirds of these suggestions target vascular risk factors and lifestyle, strengthening the importance of keeping a good vascular condition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for preventing Alzheimer’s Disease.
‘This study provides an advanced and contemporary survey of the evidence, suggesting that more high-quality observational prospective studies and randomised controlled trials are urgently needed to strengthen the evidence base for uncovering more promising approaches to preventing Alzheimer’s disease.’
The study was published yesterday in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.