12 Risk Factor associated with Dementia

12 Risk Factor associated with Dementia​

Although Dementia is an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of diseases and conditions with a range of symptoms, it appears (as per the World Health Organization) that there are common risk factors that may contribute to the onset of Dementia – whatever form it takes.  

12 primary risk factors have been identified as follows:

Lack of Physical Activity

Physical activity is often linked to brain health and can health positive effects on the structure of the brain.

WHO has suggested that physical activity could be recommended to those with normal cognition, as well as those with mild cognitive impairment to prevent cognitive decline, or further cognitive decline.

Smoking

Dependence on tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death globally!

Studies show a noticeable link between smoking tobacco and Dementia.

Stopping smoking could not only positively impact cognitive decline it may also promote and encourage other health benefits. 

Poor Diet

A healthy diet could have a major impact on preventing Dementia.

One suggestion, is to follow a Mediterranean-style diet as this is evidenced to protect against cognitive decline and improve cognitive function.

A healthy diet can also be used to prevent, or improve, hypertension which is another risk factor associated with Dementia.

Alcohol Misuse

Misuse of alcohol is one of the leading causes of disability across the world.

There is evidence of a link between excessive consumption of alcohol and Dementia.

Reducing or limiting the amount of alcohol consumed can have a great impact on preventing cognitive decline. Reducing the consumption of alcohol may also evidence other health benefits for the individual.

Insufficient or Impaired Cognitive Reserve

Cognitive Reserve is the brain’s ability to cope with or compensate for neuropathology or damage. 

Increased cognitive activity, through cognitive stimulation therapy and/or cognitive training, can increase your Cognitive Reserve and prevent cognitive decline and the onset of Dementia.

Lack of Social Activity

Where an individual is excluded from social interaction or disengaged, it has been shown to increase the risk of cognitive impairment and Dementia.

Social Interaction and activity could be with family, friends, caregivers or the wider community.

Social interaction and engagement is known to increase an individual’s overall health and wellbeing and thus could help stave off Dementia.

Unhealthy Weight Gain

Excessive weight is a big risk factor for a range of conditions and medical complications.

Those in their mid-life ages that are overweight, or suffering from obesity, could be increasing their risk of developing Dementia.

Weight loss may also have a positive impact on other potential risk factors, such as Hypertension, Cholesterol Levels and Physical Activity.

Hypertension

Hypertension is the term used for an individual with high blood pressure.

Those with high blood pressure could be increasing their risk of developing Dementia and taking steps to reduce this, could reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Hypertension can be reduced or controlled with medication or by taking control of other risk factors associated with Dementia, such as diet and physical activity.

Diabetes

Late life Diabetes is linked to the development of Dementia.

Developing Diabetes may well be unavoidable but where this is not managed correctly it can increase the risk of cognitive decline and developing Dementia.

Where an individual already has Diabetes, if this is well managed then this could help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels

Unhealthy cholesterol levels is also known as Dyslipidemia. 

There is evidence of a close link between high Cholesterol Level and the development of Dementia.

Managing healthy cholesterol levels, especially during mid-life ages, can help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Depression

Depression is a risk factor associated with cognitive decline and Dementia.

Depression is also known to reduce motivation which can in turn cause cognitive decline.

Treating depression medically or through trying to incorporate an overall wellbeing strategy could help to improve cognitive activity and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is common amongst those over the age of 65, with 1 in 3 individuals affected.

Some evidence suggests a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline and Dementia.

Improving hearing loss, for those affected, could not only have a positive impact on their cognitive ability but also on their overall quality of life.

The full Guidelines from the World Health Organization in relation to the Risk Reduction of Cognitive Decline and Dementia can be found HERE.



Do you have an experience you would like to share?

Or, is there a topic you would like us to write about?

Get in touch – Info@DementiaTLC.co.uk

12 Risk Factor associated with Dementia​

Although Dementia is an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of diseases and conditions with a range of symptoms, it appears (as per the World Health Organization) that there are common risk factors that may contribute to the onset of Dementia – whatever form it takes.  

12 primary risk factors have been identified as follows:

Lack of Physical Activity

Physical activity is often linked to brain health and can health positive effects on the structure of the brain.

WHO has suggested that physical activity could be recommended to those with normal cognition, as well as those with mild cognitive impairment to prevent cognitive decline, or further cognitive decline.

Smoking

Dependence on tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death globally!

Studies show a noticeable link between smoking tobacco and Dementia.

Stopping smoking could not only positively impact cognitive decline it may also promote and encourage other health benefits. 

Poor Diet

A healthy diet could have a major impact on preventing Dementia.

One suggestion, is to follow a Mediterranean-style diet as this is evidenced to protect against cognitive decline and improve cognitive function.

A healthy diet can also be used to prevent, or improve, hypertension which is another risk factor associated with Dementia.

Alcohol Misuse

Misuse of alcohol is one of the leading causes of disability across the world.

There is evidence of a link between excessive consumption of alcohol and Dementia.

Reducing or limiting the amount of alcohol consumed can have a great impact on preventing cognitive decline. Reducing the consumption of alcohol may also evidence other health benefits for the individual.

Insufficient or Impaired Cognitive Reserve

Cognitive Reserve is the brain’s ability to cope with or compensate for neuropathology or damage. 

Increased cognitive activity, through cognitive stimulation therapy and/or cognitive training, can increase your Cognitive Reserve and prevent cognitive decline and the onset of Dementia.

Lack of Social Activity

Where an individual is excluded from social interaction or disengaged, it has been shown to increase the risk of cognitive impairment and Dementia.

Social Interaction and activity could be with family, friends, caregivers or the wider community.

Social interaction and engagement is known to increase an individual’s overall health and wellbeing and thus could help stave off Dementia.

Unhealthy Weight Gain

Excessive weight is a big risk factor for a range of conditions and medical complications.

Those in their mid-life ages that are overweight, or suffering from obesity, could be increasing their risk of developing Dementia.

Weight loss may also have a positive impact on other potential risk factors, such as Hypertension, Cholesterol Levels and Physical Activity.

Hypertension

Hypertension is the term used for an individual with high blood pressure.

Those with high blood pressure could be increasing their risk of developing Dementia and taking steps to reduce this, could reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Hypertension can be reduced or controlled with medication or by taking control of other risk factors associated with Dementia, such as diet and physical activity.

Diabetes

Late life Diabetes is linked to the development of Dementia.

Developing Diabetes may well be unavoidable but where this is not managed correctly it can increase the risk of cognitive decline and developing Dementia.

Where an individual already has Diabetes, if this is well managed then this could help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels

Unhealthy cholesterol levels is also known as Dyslipidemia. 

There is evidence of a close link between high Cholesterol Level and the development of Dementia.

Managing healthy cholesterol levels, especially during mid-life ages, can help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Depression

Depression is a risk factor associated with cognitive decline and Dementia.

Depression is also known to reduce motivation which can in turn cause cognitive decline.

Treating depression medically or through trying to incorporate an overall wellbeing strategy could help to improve cognitive activity and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is common amongst those over the age of 65, with 1 in 3 individuals affected.

Some evidence suggests a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline and Dementia.

Improving hearing loss, for those affected, could not only have a positive impact on their cognitive ability but also on their overall quality of life.

The full Guidelines from the World Health Organization in relation to the Risk Reduction of Cognitive Decline and Dementia can be found HERE.



Do you have an experience you would like to share?

Or, is there a topic you would like us to write about?

Get in touch – Info@DementiaTLC.co.uk