Analysis of research findings from twenty-one countries suggests that Dementia victims are getting younger and now regularly being diagnosed in people in their late forties. The healthy life as hitherto associated with this age group is changing.
Early-onset dementia, previously referred to people who developed dementia in their late sixties. It now includes people in their forties.
Scientists suggest that environmental factors, including pollution from aircrafts and cars and the pervasive use of pesticides are to blame.
This research, conducted by Bournemouth University and published in the journal Surgical Neurology International compared findings from 21 countries, including the UK from 1989 to 2010.
What This Research Found
1. Significant increase in deaths from neurological disease in adults aged 55-74.
2. Result above “virtually doubled” in people over 75.
3. In the UK, deaths due neurological diseases rose from 4,785 per million to 6,862 per million in men while in women this rose from 4,662 per million to 9,144 per million.
4. About 60% of the increase was due to dementias, while 40% was due to other neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease.
According to Colin Pritchard of Bournemouth University who led the study, the increase in death rate cannot simply be ascribed to an ageing population or improvement in dementia diagnosis.
“The rate of increase in such a short time suggests a silent or even a ‘hidden’ epidemic, in which environmental factors must play a major part, not just ageing”.
He said no single factor was responsible, but that regulators should investigate the interactions between different chemicals and types of pollution.
However, Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research had this to say: “We know that Alzheimer’s and other dementias can have a complex interplay of risk factors…we can’t conclude that modern life is causing these conditions at a younger age”.
Is there anything you can do to decrease your risk of developing dementia?
The UK NHS recommends these Healthy Lifestyle Methods
1. Adopting and maintaining a healthy diet
2.Keeping yourself at a healthy weight
3.Adopting and maintaining a regular Exercise regime
4.Stopping smoking is a healthy choice
5.Keeping your alcohol consumption at a moderate level
6. Keeping your blood pressure at a healthy level
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Have a stress-free week!
To your optimum health & well-being!
Cecilia Scheyerle, MPharm