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January 2018

Public Health Interventions for Decreasing Dementia Risk

Author Affiliations
  • 1Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  • 2Department of Neurology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Australia
JAMA Neurol. 2018;75(1):11-12. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.3303

Dementia is projected to be the greatest global challenge for health and social care this century. Dementia is a neurocognitive syndrome specific to people with otherwise normal brain development, characterized by a decline in level of cognitive ability that compromises social functioning or activities of daily living.1 At present, it affects nearly 50 million people globally;1 the increasing life expectancy of the global population means dementia threatens to affect 75 million people by 2030 and 132 million by 2050, unless effective prevention strategies can be identified and implemented.1 Its impact on affected individuals, families, and caregivers, as well as the community and economy, is already substantial because of the lack of effective, disease course-modifying treatment.

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