Dementia strategy should focus on reducing risks and promoting brain health, say experts

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 22 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3450
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Leading scientists have backed calls for a fresh policy approach to combat dementia in the United Kingdom by focusing on reducing risk factors and promoting brain health throughout people’s lives. They said that “a substantial proportion of dementia might be delayed or averted if modifiable risk factors are effectively addressed.”

The UK Health Forum and Public Health England launched a consensus statement on 20 May signed by 59 experts and organisations, including practitioners and researchers in dementia, public health, and non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention.1 It said recent evidence showed that the population’s risk might be reduced so that fewer people at particular ages developed dementia. The evolving evidence was now “sufficient” to justify action and further research on dementia risk reduction by “reducing the modifiable risk factors and improving the recognised protective factors,” the statement said.

The experts described a “compelling” case for dementia risk reduction to be incorporated into health policies that are designed to tackle NCDs, to make better use of current efforts and resources. …

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