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Feature Article

Brain and heart targets for better dementia prevention

Michael Valenzuela

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Abstract

Although absolute prevention of dementia is not possible, better dementia prevention is certainly achievable and of utmost importance. A new emphasis on promoting an active cognitive lifestyle along with cardiovascular risk factor reduction is recommended.

Key Points

  • Dementia forecasts suggest a quadrupling of affected individuals in Australia to over one million by 2050.
  • Given this prediction, it will not be medically or economically feasible to carry on with the current practice of dementia care.
  • Better dementia prevention must therefore be a national priority and requires a whole-of-society approach.
  • Absolute dementia prevention is not possible, but better prevention should be achievable at the population level.
  • Cultivating an active cognitive lifestyle, particularly after retirement, is one key anti-dementia strategy.
  • Reduction of cardiovascular risk factors, especially hypertension, in people aged in their forties and fifties is another important strategy.

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