Dementia cases set to triple: WHO issues guide to cut risk

Dementia cases set to triple: WHO issues guide to cut risk

Dementia cases set to triple: WHO issues guide to cut risk

Dementia is a persistent impairment of mental process marked by memory disorder, personality changes, and impaired reasoning.

"There is now no evidence to show that taking these supplements actually reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and in fact, we know that in high doses these can be harmful", said the WHO's Dr. Neerja Chowdhary.

The recommendations call for people to exercise regularly and eat healthy, as well as maintain healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol numbers.

Indeed, the number of people likely to have dementia is expected to triple, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

"We need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia", Ghebreyesus continued.

It now affects about 50 million people globally with 10 million new cases every year.

Neerja Chowdhary, a World Health Organization expert, said that the study had not looked at smoking marijuana and did not include environmental factors, although there was some evidence of a link with pollution, and there was too little evidence of a link with poor sleep to include it in the recommendations.

Dementia affects roughly 5 million Americans and that number is expected to grow dramatically in the next few years, according to Braintest. The condition is a leading cause of disability and dependency among older individuals and no curative treatment has yet been developed.

Many health conditions and behaviors affect the odds of developing it, and research suggests that a third of cases are preventable, said Maria Carrillo, chief science officer of the Alzheimer's Association, which has published similar advice.

It urged healthcare providers to use the guidelines provided by the organisation in advising patients on what they can do to prevent cognitive decline and dementia. They also hope the guidelines will assist governments and policy makers in their efforts to design programs that encourage healthy lifestyles.

"People should be looking for these nutrients through food. not through supplements", Carrillo agreed.

Among WHO's recommendations for managing this growing public health issue is the creation of national policies and plans.

The largest increase in cases over the next three decades will be seen in low- and middle-income countries where overall population growth is the highest, World Health Organization said, warning that many healthcare systems will face significant challenges. At the same time, "we do know that there are some risk factor for dementia that we can actually modify", Dr. Neerja Chowdhary of WHO's mental health and substance abuse division, told reporters in Geneva. (The Guidelines are available in multiple languages and audio forms).

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