According to a study, scientists can now detect the early signs of approaching dementia nine years before doctors offer a formal diagnosis.
Dementia affects more than 55 million people around the world, and while there are no treatments proven to prevent it, there are ways to reduce your risks. Some of the early signs include specific impairments.
Dementia: The Early Signs
By the time doctors officially diagnose dementia, it’s often too late to try and prevent it. But researchers now can track and recognize certain markers of decline long before an official diagnosis. When it comes to degenerative disorders, the study has shown that many people have experienced both cognitive and functional decline from five to nine years beforehand. Researchers have performed tests, linking those results to dementia.
Some of these cognitive and functional difficulties include remembering lists of numbers, solving problems, reaction times, and memory. Additionally, they were more likely to have fallen within the past 12 months.
Why Earlier Intervention Is So Important
Using the results of this study can lead to earlier screening of patients with a higher risk. Doctors can slow down and delay the progression of dementia by identifying high-risk individuals in advance. This can be helpful considering that effective treatments for dementia are few.
Reducing the Risk of Dementia
While there are no approaches or methods that effectively prevent dementia, there are still things you can do to reduce the risk for yourself and your loved ones.
Doctors recommend leading a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding injury, eating a healthy diet, exercising, working on your mental health, and being mentally active.