Identifying dementia.

identifying dementia
  • A new person is diagnosed with dementia every 3 seconds.
  • 50 million people with dementia worldwide in 2017.
  • Will almost double every 20 years, 131 million in 2050.
  • The fastest growth in the elderly population is taking place in China and India. Even in the “developed” world only 20-50% of dementia cases are recognized and managed.

Dementia is more common in people over the age of 65, but it can affect younger people too . Early onset of the disease can begin when people are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s. Post the age of 65 the risk of developing dementia (Alzheimer’s or vascular) doubles every five years !.

Our parents and their parents are often sidelined at a very important time. Subtle clues that point to disastrous outcomes are often missed or ignored. Some forms of dementia can be completely reversed if diagnosed early and some forms managed far more effectively if caught in the initial stages.

Risk factors in dementia.

Not all of us have the same “risk” to develop dementia. Identifying and modifying risk factors can delay the onset of dementia. If you know a loved one who ticks multiple items in the following list, it is high time to start working on reducing their risk.

1 ) Increasing age.

2)Low educational achievement, poor social and occupational functioning.

3)Family history of dementia.

4) APOE4 . ( A protein involved in the metabolism of fats in the body. )

4)High blood pressure, High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels.

5)Obesity.

There have been several research studies that have predicted up to a 20 fold increase in risk of developing dementia when a combination of the above risk factors are present. Age, genetics and family history cannot be modified, the rest of the risks on the list can be worked on. This is an important first step in preventing / delaying dementia.