A study indicates the proportion of elderly individuals developing dementia is failing the United States.
Data from approximately 21,057 people over 65 years old in the U.S. showed the proportion with dementia declined from 11.6% in 2000 to 8.8% in 2012. The findings were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
How Education Protects the Brain
The studies have also shown that higher levels of education protect the brain from obtaining the disease. While the dementia rate declined, the average time older adults had spent in school or university increased from 11.8 years in 2000 to 12.7 years in 2012.
It might be possible that education’s mental challenges help shield the brain cells from dying later in life. Once neurons begin to die, education helps the rest of the brain rewire and compensate for the loss in order to prevent dementia symptoms from developing.
In addition, good physical health is another deterrent of dementia. However, studies have demonstrated that levels of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity all increased between 2000 and 2012. Perhaps, improved medication reduced the negative of these diseases.
The following are helpful ways to reduce your chances of getting dementia at an older age:
- Access to education
- Good physical health
- Medical care
- Not smoking
While this latest study can be viewed as good news, dementia remains one of the greatest medical challenges to overcome. The focus now is to better understand the factors that underlie this trend and transcribe that knowledge into interventions that can reduce the risk of dementia overall.
If you have a loved one who has dementia and requires professional and compassionate care in Hampton, GA, contact Mount Carmel Assisted Living for more information.