Every three seconds, a new case of dementia (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s.
.. .) is diagnosed in the world.
In total, nearly 50 million people are affected. If the age is the main risk factor, the cognitive decline is not an inseparable part of old age: certain lifestyle habits can prevent its onset or slow its progression. Based on the scientific data, the world health Organization (WHO) issued new recommendations on the right steps to adopt.
These were published on 14 may on the website of the health care Agency.
“Several recent studies have revealed a link between the development of cognitive disorders and dementia, and the risk factors related to lifestyle such as physical inactivity, smoking, unhealthy diets and the harmful use of alcohol,” says the WHO in a press release. Accordingly, the agency recommends that regular physical activity, not smoking, drinking in moderation, eating healthily, controlling weight and to monitor his blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar. “The scientific evidence accumulated for these recommendations confirm our assumptions: what is good for the heart is also for the brain”, said in a statement, Dr. . Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general.
Recommendations based on the scienceUne dementia is characterized by a significant reduction in cognitive functions, especially memory, attention, language, and motor functions. It may appear in the context of Alzheimer’s disease, or the result of a cerebral vascular accident (STROKE). A lesion in the brain will, in effect, prevent blood flow and thus depriving some areas of oxygen, leading to the surrounding cells to death. This is called vascular dementia. To avoid this, it is necessary to monitor blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Depending on the level of robustness of the scientific evidence, the recommendations issued by WHO can be “strong” or “conditional”.
For example, the smoking cessation is strongly recommended: numerous studies have shown that smoking has an impact on the occurrence of dementia (not to mention the cancer or the risk of cardiovascular disease).
Similarly, studies have shown the benefits of regular physical activity. On the other hand, the effectiveness of the exercises to train his cognitive function (puzzles, memory games. .. .. .) is not proven scientifically, even if it is certain that they can’t do wrong: the cognitive inactivity is among the risk factors for dementia. ” READ ALSO – Dementia: not all are Alzheimer’s, If it is necessary to pay attention to his diet, beware not to fall into excess of zeal. The WHO does not recommend the additions of vitamin E, B complex multivitaminés and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as those contained in margarine and vegetable oils: there is no evidence that they are effective against dementia. And in too high doses, these supplements may even be harmful (toxicity to the liver, kidneys, etc. .).
The health care agency recommends that rather follow a mediterranean diet, for which several studies have shown that it decreases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. “In the next 30 years, the number of people suffering from dementia is expected to triple,” says Dr. . Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We must do everything to reduce this risk”. In the absence of treatment, we can only rely on simple measures of prevention.