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Update: 35% of worldwide dementia cases could be prevented by modifying these 9 modifiable risk factors

Time for Sharp­Brains’ July e-newslet­ter, fea­tur­ing fas­ci­nat­ing sci­en­tif­ic find­ings, emerg­ing brain health prac­tices and insights…and some fun teasers.

New research

Let’s start with the key take-aways from a new and very insight­ful evi­dence review which found nine mod­i­fi­able risk fac­tors for demen­tia — account­ing for 35% of all cas­es:
— Edu­ca­tion by age 15 (dur­ing ear­ly life)
— Hyper­ten­sion; Obe­si­ty; Hear­ing loss (in mid-life)
— Depres­sion; Dia­betes; Phys­i­cal inac­tiv­i­ty; Smok­ing; Low social con­tact (in lat­er life)

New thinking

Upcoming events

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Final­ly, you may want to Test your Brain and Mind with these 9 Clas­sic Opti­cal Illu­sions 🙂

 

Have a great August!

The Sharp­Brains Team

Report: 35% of worldwide dementia cases could be prevented by modifying these 9 modifiable risk factors

The Lancet Com­mis­sion: One Third of Demen­tia May Be Pre­ventable (Lancet report release):

Today’s find­ings are extreme­ly hope­ful,” said Maria Car­ril­lo, PhD, chief sci­ence offi­cer at the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion. “At an indi­vid­ual lev­el, many peo­ple have the poten­tial to reduce their risk of cog­ni­tive decline, and per­haps demen­tia, through sim­ple, health­ful behav­ior changes. At a pub­lic health lev­el, inter­ven­tions based on this evi­dence could be extreme­ly pow­er­ful in man­ag­ing the glob­al human and eco­nom­ic costs of Alzheimer’s dis­ease and oth­er demen­tias.” Read the rest of this entry »

Cognitive Training or Gingko Biloba to prevent cognitive decline and dementia? New comprehensive report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine clarifies priorities for public health and for future research

Evi­dence Sup­port­ing Three Inter­ven­tions That Might Slow Cog­ni­tive Decline and the Onset of Demen­tia Is Encour­ag­ing but Insuf­fi­cient to Jus­ti­fy a Pub­lic Health Cam­paign Focused on Their Adop­tion (Nation­al Acad­e­mies of Sci­ences, Engi­neer­ing, and Med­i­cine):

Cog­ni­tive train­ing, blood pres­sure man­age­ment for peo­ple with hyper­ten­sion, and increased phys­i­cal activ­i­ty all show mod­est but incon­clu­sive evi­dence that they can help pre­vent cog­ni­tive decline and demen­tia, but there is insuf­fi­cient evi­dence to sup­port a pub­lic health cam­paign encour­ag­ing their adop­tion, says a new report from the Nation­al Acad­e­mies of Sci­ences, Engi­neer­ing, and Med­i­cine. Addi­tion­al research is need­ed to fur­ther under­stand and gain con­fi­dence in their effec­tive­ness, said the com­mit­tee that con­duct­ed the study and wrote the report Read the rest of this entry »

Alzheimer’s Disease: New Survey and Research Study on Awareness, Testing and Prevention

Very inter­est­ing new data rein­forc­ing two main themes we have been ana­lyz­ing for a while:
1) We bet­ter start pay­ing seri­ous atten­tion (and R&D dol­lars) to lifestyle-based and non-inva­sive cog­ni­tive and emo­tion­al health inter­ven­tions, which are most­ly ignored in favor of inva­sive, drug-based options
2) Inter­ven­tions will need to be per­son­al­ized. The study below ana­lyzes data at the coun­try lev­el, but the same log­ic applies to the indi­vid­ual lev­el

Many fear Alzheimer’s, want to be test­ed: sur­vey (Reuters):

- “The tele­phone sur­vey of 2,678 adults aged 18 and old­er in the Unit­ed States, France, Ger­many, Spain and Poland was con­duct­ed by researchers at the Har­vard School of Pub­lic Health and Read the rest of this entry »

Shall we question the brand new book of human troubles

With three years still left until pub­li­ca­tion, the fights over the new ver­sion of the psy­chi­atric diag­nos­tic man­u­al, the DSM-V, are hot­ting up and The New York Times has a bookcon­cise arti­cle that cov­ers most of the main point of con­tention.

- “What you have in the end,  Mr. Short­er said, “is this process of sort­ing the deck of symp­toms into syn­dromes, and the out­come all depends on how the cards fall.

- Psy­chi­a­trists involved in prepar­ing the new man­u­al con­tend that it is too ear­ly to say for sure which cards will be added and which dropped.

Although I doubt the DSM com­mit­tee are using that exact metaphor, it cer­tain­ly illus­trates the point that the process requires a cer­tain degree of val­ue-judge­ment.

It’s inter­est­ing, how­ev­er, that the pub­lic debate is cur­rent­ly focused on whether cer­tain diag­noses should be includ­ed or not, rather than whether diag­no­sis itself is use­ful for psy­chi­a­try.

We’ve had psy­cho­met­rics for a good 100 years that allow us to mea­sure dimen­sions of human expe­ri­ence and per­for­mance with a much greater degree of accu­ra­cy than Read the rest of this entry »

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