Dementia: Taking care of one element in early life reduces risk – study

Gary Lineker opens up about his dementia concerns

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Published in the JAMA medical journal, the study found that individuals with poor mental health were at greater risk of developing dementia than those who didn’t.

They concluded: “Mental disorders were associated with the onset of dementia in the population. Ameliorating mental disorders in early life might also ameliorate neurodegenerative conditions and extend quality of life in old age.”

Results from the study showed that six percent of individuals with mental health conditions in the study were diagnosed with dementia.

In contrast, only two percent of people without a mental health issue developed the condition.

The connection between mental health conditions and dementia was not specific to one gender, with both men and women with mental health conditions at increased risk.

Researchers added that work can be done to reduce the risk of dementia from a young age stating: “If associations are causal, ameliorating mental disorders might benefit not only psychiatric health among younger adults but also cognitive and functional well-being among older individuals.”

Data from this study is yet another addition to scientist’s understanding of dementia.

In recent years, approach to the treatment of the disease has changed.

In the past dementia was considered an inevitable part of ageing, that it was part of getting older.

However, that approach has now changed.

Dementia is now understood to be a disease, one that can be treated and cured.

Although there are no new treatments soon, some scientists believe they may become available within the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, mental health is increasingly taking centre stage in contemporary medicinal and political conversation.

The nation’s mental health has been under stress since the pandemic began; the country has experienced a form of nationwide health anxiety as Covid ripped through the population.

As a result of isolation and other factors, there are an increasing number of people on NHS waiting lists who have untreated mental health conditions.

Figures in the NHS are calling it a second pandemic due to the high number of new patients, of all ages, who have developed a range of mental health conditions.

There is a growing campaign to treat mental health in the same way as physical health with the Labour Party proposing a raft of mental health measures should they win the next election.

In the interim, the charity Mind is calling for the government to fund a network of early support hubs for young people aged between 11 and 25 so that they can get urgent support.

Youth mental health in particular is becoming an increasing problem as two years of disruption to social and educational lives bares down on a generation.

For more information about mental health services contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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