If you want to save your brain, focus on keeping the rest of your body well with exercise and healthy habits rather than shaking vitamin pills, new guidelines to preventto advise. About 50 million people currently have dementia and Alzheimer's disease is the most common type.
Each year brings 10 million new cases, says the report released Tuesday by the World Health Organization. Although age is the main risk factor, "dementia is not a natural or inevitable consequence of aging," he says.
Many health conditions and behaviors influence the chances of development, and the research suggests that one third of the cases is preventable, said Maria Carrillo, scientific director of the Alzheimer Association, which has published similar recommendations.
Since dementia is currently incurable and so many experimental therapies have failed, focusing on prevention could "give us more short-term benefits," said Carrillo.
Much of the advice of the OMS is common sense, and echoes what the United States National Institute says about aging.
This includes getting enough exercise; treat other health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol; have an active social life, avoiding or holding back harmful habits such aseat too much and drink too much alcohol. The evidence is weak that some of these help to preserve thinking skills, but are known to help general health, says the WHO.
Eat well and possibly following a, can help prevent dementia, say the guidelines. But take a firm stand against vitamin B or E pills, fish oil or multi-complex supplements that are promoted for brain health because there is a strong research showing that they do not work.
"At the moment there is no evidence to show that taking these supplements actually reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and in fact we know that at high doses they can be harmful," said Dr. Neerja Chowdhary of & # 39. WHO.
"People should look for these nutrients through food … not through", Agreed Carrillo.
Even the OMS did not support games and other activities aimed at enhancing thinking skills. These can be considered for people with normal abilities or mild problems, but there is low to very low evidence of benefit.
There is not enough evidence to recommend antidepressants to reduce the risk of dementia although they can be used to treat depression, the report said. Hearing aids also cannot reduce the risk of dementia, but older people should be screened for hearing loss and treated accordingly.