Aside from cancer or heart disease, Dementia is one of the most critical health challenges facing the UK and the rest of the world. Seven percent of elderly people over the age of 65 have some type of Dementia, and that number rises to 40 percent as a person lives into their 80s.
Carol Brayne and a team of researchers at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health studied how often Dementia occurs in elderly people during two specific time periods in the last few years. The change varied very little, if at all, and they even noticed a decline in Dementia.
The researchers are very hopeful with the results, which show that Dementia, once thought to be headed toward an epidemic, may be under control. Researchers are concluding that people are living healthier lives and taking precautions not to contract other deadly diseases, which may be having an impact on the declining number of people getting Dementia.
Lead researcher Professor Carol Brayne from the Institute of Public Health at Cambridge University said that one-sixth of people over the age of 80 have Dementia, and there are currently 850,000 people with Dementia in the UK.
“The suggested decrease in dementia occurrence coincides with improvements in protective factors, such as education and living conditions, for dementia and a general reduction in risk factors, such as vascular diseases, over recent decades.
“Incidence and deaths from major cardiovascular diseases have decreased in high-income countries since the 1980s.
“We are now potentially seeing the results of improvements in prevention and treatment of key cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol reflected in the risk of developing dementia.”
To keep from getting Dementia, researchers say there are nine risk factors we need to think about daily, including preventative strategies, our diets, the drugs we take, our body chemistry, our mental health, pre-existing diseases, and our lifestyles.
People who took folic acid, drank coffee, took vitamins C and E regularly, and had high body mass late in life tended to be less susceptible to getting Dementia, one study showed. There is also evidence that continual studying and use of a person’s brain helps keep the brain active and healthy.
University of Nottingham Dementia researcher Professor Rowan Harwood said that there needs to be a lot more research done on Dementia. He said next to cancer and heart disease, the knowledge that we have about Dementia is extremely minimal.
For now, there is no actual cure for Dementia.
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