New study says nine lifestyle changes can cut dementia risk

Third of dementia cases 'entirely preventable'

Third of dementia cases 'entirely preventable'

Additionally, the researchers found the number of dementia cases worldwide could be reduced by 5 percent if all people stopped smoking. Health care costs associated with dementia are enormous, with an estimated $818 billion price tag in 2015.

The report also noticed that managing those factors in certain stages of life will reduce the possibility of dementia by 35 percent.

Dr Doug Brown, director of research at the charity Alzheimer's Society, said: "The revelation that over a third of dementia cases worldwide are, in theory, entirely preventable is cause for celebration".

"Although dementia is diagnosed in later life, the brain changes usually begin to develop years before", said Gill Livingston, a professor at University College London and one of 24 global experts commissioned by The Lancet medical journal to conduct the analysis. "The goal of the commission was therefore to address it by consolidating the huge strides and emerging knowledge as to what we should do to prevent dementia and intervene and care for people with dementia". "But we can't lose sight of the real major advances we've already made in treating dementia, including preventive approaches".

"The potential magnitude of the effect on dementia of reducing these risk factors is larger than we could ever imagine the effect that current, experimental medications could have", commission member and AAIC presenter Lon Schneider, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, said in a statement.

The researchers said maintaining good hearing between the ages of 45 and 65 reduces the number of cases by nine per cent. It's particularly important to stop smoking later in life, they say, to reduce neurotoxins and improve heart health, which in turn improves brain health.

Other factors contributing to the risk include depression (four per cent), physical inactivity (three per cent), social isolation (two per cent), high blood pressure (two per cent), obesity (one per cent) and type 2 diabetes (one per cent).

"This includes providing safe and effective social and health care interventions in order to integrate people with dementia within their communities", Schneider said.

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