Reducing the Risk or Delaying the Onset of Dementia
The population on the island of Ireland is ageing. Given that ageing is the biggest risk factor for dementia, both jurisdictions face a substantial rise in the number of people with dementia in the coming decades. This puts dementia risk reduction at the heart of policy in NI and ROI and makes continued research and awareness in the area a key priority. While age, gender and genetics play a role in the development of dementia, an increasing body of evidence has emerged in the international literature to highlight the role of modifiable risk and protective factors in exacerbating or reducing an individual’s risk of developing dementia in later life. Between 2010 and 2014, the published articles from the island of Ireland on reducing the risk or delaying the onset of dementia are limited to a focus on the effects of education, employment and retirement age on the age of onset of Alzheimer’s disease, prevention of dementia among specific groups at risk of developing dementia (i.e. people with affective disorders) and prevention of very rare forms of dementia (i.e. variant CJD), whilst another study on secondary prevention highlights the importance and possibility of minimising the health impact of frailty in people with dementia.