New WHO Guidelines recommend specific interventions for reducing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia

People can reduce their risk of dementia by getting regular exercise, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, according to new guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) today.

In the next 30 years, the number of people with dementia is expected to triple. We need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia. The scientific evidence gathered for these Guidelines confirm what we have suspected for some time, that what is good for our heart, is also good for our brain.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The Guidelines provide the knowledge base for health-care providers to advise patients on what they can do to help prevent cognitive decline and dementia. They will also be useful for governments, policy-makers and planning authorities to guide them in developing policy and designing programmes that encourage healthy lifestyles.

Creating national policies and plans for dementia are among WHO’s key recommendations for countries in their efforts to manage this growing health challenge. During 2018, WHO provided support to countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Qatar, Slovenia and Sri Lanka to help them develop a comprehensive, multi-sectoral public health response to dementia.

An essential element of every national dementia plan is support for carers of people with dementia. Dementia carers are very often family members who need to make considerable adjustments to their family and professional lives to care for their loved ones. This is why WHO created iSupport. iSupport is an online training programme providing carers of people with dementia with advice on overall management of care, dealing with behaviour changes and how to look after their own health.
Dr Dévora Kestel, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO.

iSupport is currently being used in eight countries, with more expected to follow.

 

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Related: Vladimir Hachinski contributed to and reviewed the recommendations released by the WHO earlier this week.

 
 
 
 
 

WHO

Source

www.who.int/