Many publications on dementia start by outlining the current estimated number of people with dementia and how that figure is going to double (in Western societies) or even quadruple (in developing countries) in the coming decades as a result of increasing life expectancy (in itself a good development). Dementia is therefore a huge challenge to society, both in terms of providing good care for persons living with dementia and their family caregivers, as well as in searching for curative solutions. Both these challenges are complex. Fortunately, recent research indicates primary prevention to be a promising additional strategy in the dementia quest. Now that epidemiological research robustly shows the link between lifestyle and risk of dementia, new challenges emerge, such as how to increase public awareness about brain health, how to develop and implement strategies to promote brain healthy lifestyles and how to avoid increasing health inequalities. Interdem, the pan-European network of researchers on Psychosocial Interventions in Dementia, strongly welcomes this new strategy and consequently established a taskforce on primary prevention. In this position paper, we outline what we see as main building blocks of primary prevention of dementia.
- Dementia and cognitive disorders
- service provision