The Lancet Commission report recently published states that it “is never too early and never too late in the life course for dementia prevention”.

The 2020 report adds three more modifiable risk factors to the 9 previous associated with dementia and now highlight lower education level, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, low social contact, alcohol consumption, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution.

The expert panel further stated that:  “We have completed new reviews and meta-analyses and incorporated these into an updated 12 risk factor life-course model of dementia prevention. Together the 12 modifiable risk factors account for around 40% of worldwide dementias, which consequently could theoretically be prevented or delayed. The potential for prevention is high”…

The Commission calls for both nation states and individuals to be ambitious about taking measures to prevent dementia and reduce the terrible burden it causes by acting upon the clear areas of action that the extensive literature studied has identified.

Whilst we hope for effective disease altering pharmaceutical therapies, the actions recommended by the Commission certainly offer the potential to modify the future of dementia starting early in life.

Livingston G et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet 2020. Published: July 30, 2020.