Dementia: A global health priority

Problem Definition:

When you think of the most common health problems, you might think of conditions like heart disease, stroke, or cancer. And you’d be right — these are among the most common health problems in the world, affecting millions of people annually. Though some of us may be lucky enough to avoid developing these conditions, there is one health issue that remains staunchly inescapable and incurable — aging.

Photo Credit: Kindel Media

Dementia vs. Alzheimer’s: What’s the difference?

Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather an umbrella term that can refer to a group of conditions that cause neurological decline. It’s often used as a general word to describe the symptoms of conditions like Alzheimer’s, i.e. a decline in mental ability, memory, and reasoning skills.

Economic Impact

As cognitive decline advances, patients become gradually less able to care for themselves on a daily basis. The structure of our economic system typically does not allow those with ill family members to take time off, often leaving people with no choice but to outsource care for their loved ones.

Treatment and Prevention

The Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care, currently recognizes 12 potentially important risk factors that scientific evidence has demonstrated can potentially increase an individual’s chance of developing dementia. These risk factors are:

  • Hypertension
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Physical Activity
  • Diabetes
  • Low Social Contact
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Air Pollution

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Healthcare, Business and Tech enthusiast. Passionate about arts, food, and road-running.

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Saeed Zeinali

Healthcare, Business and Tech enthusiast. Passionate about arts, food, and road-running.