Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dementia on the rise in aging populations

31.10.2006
Life expectancy continues to rise in most countries around the world, and in industrialized nations it is not uncommon for people to live well into their 90s. One consequence is that dementia will become much more common, as a new study reported by Fiona Matthews, Carol Brayne and the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study Investigators published in the open-access international medical journal PLoS Medicine suggests.

A widespread myth is that once a person reaches 80 and is mentally healthy, they are likely to die without mental incapacitation. The new results clearly show that this is not the case.

The researchers followed a representative population of aged people over several years to estimate the risk of developing cognitive impairment or dementia near the end of life, and to determine whether factors such as education and social class, which may appear protective earlier in life, can ultimately prevent decline in mental functioning.

Using standardized assessments of cognitive status, the researchers interviewed people age 65 and over at six sites representing rural and urban areas in the UK. Interviews were conducted at regular intervals over 10 years. Of approximately 12,000 study participants who had died by the time of this report, just over 2,500 had an assessment for dementia within one year before dying. Of this group, those who died between ages 65 and 69 had a 6% chance of dying with dementia, and those who died above age 95 had a 58% chance of dying with dementia. When moderate or severe cognitive impairment were included, the rate in people above age 95 reached almost 80%. Women were more likely to develop dementia than men, even after taking into account the fact that women tend to live longer than men. A higher level of education was associated with only a slightly lower risk of dementia before death.

As Willem van Gool (Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam) states in an accompanying Perspective, despite the sobering nature of these data, there is room for slightly more hopeful interpretations that take into account the age of onset or duration of dementia rather than the absolute numbers. While many elderly people indeed wonder how likely it is that they will “lose their mind” before they die, if preventative measures manage to delay the onset of dementia, they would still yield enormous benefits. To prove that preventative measures work, however, will not be an easy task, and societies with aging populations should be prepared for large numbers of elderly patients with dementia.

Citation: Brayne C, Gao L, Dewey M, Matthews FE, Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study Investigators (2006) Dementia before death in ageing societies—The promise of prevention and the reality. PLoS Med 3(9): e397

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plosmedicine.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>