Keys to act before the first symptoms of dementia, the main cause of disability among the elderly
The World Health Organization (WHO) specifies that dementiausually chronic or progressive in nature, refers to various diseases that affect the memoryto others Cognitive abilities and to behaviour. The most common form of this syndrome is Alzheimer’s, which can represent about 70% of cases, although there are more: vascular dementia or Lewy bodies. “The boundaries between the different forms of dementia are diffuse and mixed forms frequently coexist,” the experts explain.
According to the health agency “dementia is not an inevitable consequence of aging”, being “one of the main causes of disability and dependency among older people in the world”.
According to WHO data, the early stage responds to common symptoms: tendency to forgot, loss of track of time Y dislocation even in familiar places. It is precisely this phase that “often goes unnoticed, since the onset is gradual.”
After this first period, dementia evolves towards middle and late stageswhose symptoms are more evident: they begin to forget recent events, people’s names, have greater difficulty communicating or walking or behavioral changes “that can be exacerbated and lead to aggression”.
How to act before the first symptoms?
Dementia is estimated to affect about 50 million people worldwide, of which 60% live in low- and middle-income countries. However, this percentage increases year after year. For this reason, it is of vital importance, reminds the WHO, to recognize and act before the appearance of the first symptoms.
Although there is no remedy to prevent this pathology or reverse its evolutionthere are “numerous interventions that can be offered to support and improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers and families.”
For example, explains the WHO, we can “optimize physical healthcognition, activity and well-being, identify and treat concomitant physical illnesses and provide information and long-term support for caregivers.
In this sense, many studies show that the risk of suffering from dementia can be reduced by practicing physical exercise, controlling weight, maintaining a balanced and healthy diet and not abusing the “harmful use of alcohol or tobacco”.