Lifestyle for Brain Health (LIBRA): A new model of dementia prevention

Schiepers et al. (2017) report on a new prediction model for dementia that focuses exclusively on modifiable risk factors. The Lifestyle for Brain Health (LIBRA) model was developed as part of the Innovative Midlife Intervention for Dementia Prevention (In-MINDD) project, led by Dublin City University. The project aimed to support people in midlife to reduce their risk of developing dementia or at least delaying its onset by making lifestyle changes. The model is based on 11 dementia risk and protective factors: alcohol consumption, coronary heart disease, physical inactivity, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, hypertension, Mediterranean diet, depression, and cognitive activity. The model was evaluated in a large population-based study, the Maastricht Ageing Study, a 12-year longitudinal study focusing on cognitive ageing. A LIBRA risk score for dementia was developed. When comprised only of modifiable risk factors, Lifestyle for Brain Health predicted future risk of dementia and cognitive impairment. A one-point increase in LIBRA scores related to a 19% higher risk for dementia and a 9% higher risk of cognitive impairment. From these results, it could be concluded that modifiable risk factors have an influence on a person’s risk of developing dementia. Focusing on modifiable risk factors is important and LIBRA may contribute to new prevention strategies for dementia, such as raising awareness that people in middle age may have a window of opportunity for reducing their dementia risk by prioritising lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle for Brain Health (LIBRA): A new model of dementia prevention
Schiepers O.J.G., Kohler, S., Deckers, K., Irving, K., O’Donnell, C., van den Akker, M., Berhey, F.R.J., Vos, S.J.B., de Vugt, M.E. and van Boxtel, M.P.J. (2017) ‘Lifestyle for Brain Health (LIBRA): A new model of dementia prevention’, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry