Managing Risks for Dementia

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

One of my favorite types of scientific research is the "review paper" when authors collect and review the literature in a certain field and report on the depth and breadth of findings in the targeted area of study. As such, I was happy to see a recent report by the BBC that the Alzheimer's Society had chaired a panel of experts and reviewed more than 70 research papers on reducing the risk of dementia.

The report contained some elements that may be as surprising as they are important. Notably, they suggested that age 35 is probably the right time to start managing known risks in an effort to ward off dementia later in life.

I strongly suggest you click to read the BBC's synopsis of the report but the highlights are noted here:

Strong Evidence in support of:
- Get Physical Exercise
- Don't Be Obese
- Bring Down High Blood Pressure
- Reduce High Cholesterol
- Don't Smoke

Some Evidence in support of:
- Drink Modest Amounts of Alcohol
- Eat a Mediterranean Diet
- Remain or Become Socially Active

The Jury is out on:
- Brain Training
- Vitamin Supplements

The importance of this review, and other similarly scientific reviews, can not be overstated in this era of aggressive commercialization of unregulated health care solutions. There is a lot of hype in the press that has not yet been scientifically validated. Some of it might ultimately prove to be worthwhile but this review let's you know the current state of the science.

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