More of us are living to old age than at any time, Madness Consistently growing worldwide with major personal, family, social and economic consequences.
treatment remains largely unreported and aspects of the underlying pathophysiology are still unclear. But there is good evidence that neurodegenerative diseases – and their manifestation in the form of dementia – are not an inevitable consequence of aging.
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Many causes of dementia are preventable, including viral infections.
COVID and other viral infections are centrally involved in brain insult and subsequent neurodegeneration. COVID-positive outpatients have a three-fold higher risk of Alzheimer’s and a two-fold higher risk of Parkinson’s disease.
A study of nearly 3 million people found that the risk of mental disorders returned to baseline one to two months after COVID infection. But other disorders, including “brain fog” and dementia, were still higher than in controls two years later.
Among more than six million adults over the age of 65, within a year of testing positive for COVID, individuals with COVID had a 70% higher risk for a new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease than the uninsured.
The study of the long-term consequences of acute COVID infection includes more than 150,000 people with COVID and 11 million controls. One year after infection, there was an overall 40% higher risk (an additional 71 cases per 1000 people) of neurological disorders, including memory problems (80% higher risk) and Alzheimer’s disease (two times higher risk). These risks were also increased in people who were not hospitalized for acute COVID.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, can invade brain tissue. Other viruses can also cause direct damage to the brain. A study of nearly two million people showed that the risk of Alzheimer’s was significantly lower among those who were vaccinated against influenza.
cost of dementia
Dementia is characterized by a progressive deterioration of cognitive function. This includes memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, language and judgment, often accompanied by changes in mood and emotional control.
This is one of the main reasons for disability among older people. The worldwide prevalence is more than 55 million and about ten million new cases are reported annually. It is the seventh leading cause of death. In 2019, the estimated global cost of dementia was rising to a further US$1.3 trillion.
The best known form of dementia – Alzheimer’s – was first described in 1907. Dementia is usually described as developing in three stages: – loss of memory, losing track of time and getting lost in familiar places – further deterioration of memory with forgetting of names and recent events, confusion at home Loss of communication skills and personal care habits, Frequent questioning, Difficulty walking, Moving towards inactivity, Memory loss, Failure to recognize relatives and friends, Disorientation in time and space, Changes in behavior Including lack of personal care and the emergence of aggression.
treatment largely unsuccessful
There is no cure and no spectacular treatment success. Management includes support for patients and caregivers to optimize physical activity, stimulate memory, and simultaneously treat physical or mental illness.
Dementia has a disproportionate impact on women, providing 65% of dementia deaths and 70% of caregiver hours.
We may know less about the pathology of dementia than we thought: some key data is being examined for possible unfair manipulation.
But we do know about the many causes and therefore prevention of dementia. In addition to viral infections, there are at least four other contributing causes: heart disease, type 2 diabetes (especially if untreated), traumatic brain injury, and alcoholism.
The brain has its own immune system – cells called microglia. These play a role in brain development, account for 5–10% of brain mass and are activated by damage and loss of function. They are also implicated in Alzheimer’s and their inflammation has been shown to be at the center of its pathology.
Dementia can be prevented
Prevention is an important goal in the absence of effective treatment. The association with viral infections means we must pay careful attention to vaccine availability and uptake (for influenza, COVID and any future variants) and a greater emphasis on combating misinformation about vaccines.
Atherosclerosis and stroke, as well as diabetes, supports primary prevention that includes a healthy diet (a plant-based diet low in salt and saturated fat), physical activity, and weight control.
Alcohol consumption is a major problem globally. We’ve allowed high intakes to normalize and talk about no more than two glasses per day as if it’s harmless.
Despite the myth of some beneficial aspects of LiquorThe safest intake is zero drinks per week.
This requires a complete national rethink about the availability and acceptability of alcohol, as well as aid in the treatment of alcohol addiction and alcohol-related disorders.
Traumatic brain injury is associated with sports and, more importantly, falls and car accidents. This is recognized as a global priority and there is a growing awareness of fall prevention among older people. The management of head injuries in contact sports is being accelerated.
However, there is a lack of data on the effect of best management of early injury on later risk of dementia and the risk is still increased 30 years after the initial trauma.
evidence that Madness There are preventable causes, including viral infections, that should better inform policy and our own behavior.
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