Dementia is a disease that affects the brain and impacts more people than you might think. According to the World Health Organization, there are about 50 million cases of dementia worldwide.
About 60 percent of those who have dementia live in developing countries. This number is expected to rise with the growing population in Asia and India. By 2050, this population will be responsible for seventy percent of all dementia cases worldwide.
One of the most critical risk factors for dementia is age. However, it's important to note that dementia is not a normal part of aging. In addition to age, other not modifiable risk factors (like genetics) can increase the risk of dementia.
But did you know that dementia, in many cases, is a preventable disease if people take care of their brain cells early enough?
Researchers have identified twelve modifiable key risk factors for dementia. They include physical inactivity, smoking, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, depression, social isolation, and more. The modifiable risk factors add up to about 40% of the risk of dementia.
Although people are often diagnosed with dementia later in life, the process of brain changes can begin years before the disease starts.
The changes occur primarily in the brain, but many lifestyle factors superficially without any connection to brain cells increase the risk. We speak about diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Did you think these diseases only impair your heart health? Research suggests that high blood pressure, diabetes (and prediabetes), and obesity bring about brain changes that strongly impair thinking and memory.
You can strengthen brain networks and improve your cognitive reserve to make your brain stronger and more resistant to changes that life and age bring.