A new WHO guideline contains recommendations for specific measures to reduce the risk of developing cognitive disorders and dementia.
According to the data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) today, the risk of dementia can be reduced by exercising regularly, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling your weight, eating right and maintaining normal blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels. in blood.
“According to forecasts, in 30 years the number of people with dementia will triple,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhan Gebreyesus. - We must do everything possible to reduce the risk of dementia. The scientific data collected for this guide confirmed the assumption we made some time ago, what is good for our heart, good for our brain. ”
The guide is a knowledge base that health care providers can use to advise patients on possible measures to prevent cognitive disorders and dementia. The guide will also be useful to governments, policy makers, and planning agencies in developing policies and programs that promote healthy lifestyle choices.
Reducing the risk of developing dementia is one of several areas of work included in the WHO-developed Global Health Sector Action Plan for the Response to Dementia. Other areas include strengthening information systems for dementia; diagnostics, treatment and care; providing support to people caring for people with dementia; and research and innovation.
The WHO Global Observatory on Dementia, established in 2017, collects information on countries' activities and resources for responding to dementia, such as national plans, initiatives to create an enabling environment for people with dementia, awareness campaigns and care institutions . Twenty-one countries, including Bangladesh, Chile, France, Japan, Jordan and Togo, have already provided data for the observatory, and a total of 80 countries are currently collecting data for it.
Developing national policies and plans for responding to dementia is one of WHO's key recommendations for countries responding to this growing health problem. In 2018, WHO assisted countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Qatar, Slovenia and Sri Lanka to develop comprehensive intersectoral measures for dementia registration.
“One of the main components of any national dementia response plan is to provide support to people caring for people with dementia,” said Dr. Devora Kestel, director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. - People with dementia are often cared for by family members who have to make significant changes in their family and professional life in order to provide care for their loved ones. To this end, WHO has created an iSupport web program. This online training program provides caregivers for people with dementia with advice on how to organize care, how to cope with changes in behavior, and how to monitor their own health. ” Currently, iSupport is used in eight countries and is expected to increase in the near future.
Dementia: a rapidly growing public health problem
Dementia is a disease in which cognitive impairment occurs below the level expected during normal aging. This disease affects memory, thinking, orientation, understanding, computational and cognitive abilities, speech and judgment. Dementia develops as a result of a number of diseases and injuries of the brain, such as Alzheimer's disease and stroke.
Dementia is a rapidly growing public health problem that affects about 50 million people in the world. About 10 million new cases of dementia occur annually. This disease is one of the main causes of disability and lack of independence of the elderly. In addition, dementia creates a heavy economic burden for societies as a whole — it is estimated that the cost of caring for people with dementia will increase to $ 2 trillion a year by 2030.