New Tool to Help Predict Dementia Risk in Older People

Preventing the degeneration of the human mind with things like alzheimers and dementia are important for doctors as well as patients and their family members. While prevention is important, detection is equally as important, and serves as a jumping off point for implementing preventative measures if someone is at risk. Swedish and Finnish doctors have created a risk index for patients, interpreting medical information into something that is easy to understand. By using this risk index, it becomes easier to pinpoint risk factors and prevention target areas. The risk index could be helpful in identifying risk of developing dementia in older adults, even 10 years later. Although the study is proving to be promising, in Finland, doctors have yet to test it outside of the country and see if the patterns coincide with each other.

Key Points:

  • 1Intense effort is going into the effort to prevent dementia.
  • 2Recent developments include large online “Brain Health Registries,” multinational data discovery and sharing platforms, and internet-based prevention trials.
  • 3Although lifestyle changes can help prevent dementia, the challenge is to detect those most at risk and to choose the most relevant preventive measures.

The researchers conclude that the risk index could be useful for identifying older individuals who are most at risk, and who may also benefit most from preventive interventions.

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