The problem with dementia is we don’t know who is going to get it and how to cure it once it strikes.
However, Scientists at the University of Ottawa can now believe they can predict your risk of developing dementia-related diseases.
If you’re over 55, you can use the Dementia Population Risk Tool to assess your likelihood of a diagnosis in the next five years.
For a long time, we’ve known that lifestyle can play a part in increasing the risk. In fact, as many as one in three cases can be prevented thanks to simple changes in your daily life.
The researchers in Ottawa used survey data from over 75,000 people to create an algorithm that accurately measures the probability of experiencing the brain condition.
This isn’t meant to frighten you – rather, it gives people a chance to make positive changes to boost your health and therefore minimise your chances of getting ill.
The main areas queried by the dementia calculator are:
- How active you are
- How much you smoke or drink
- What your diet is like
- What conditions you’re currently dealing with, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
The algorithm reviews other demographic data such as where you live, your education level and how many languages you speak.
As well as monitoring individuals, it’s hoped the test will help inform governments about the health of the future population so they can plan strategies for new dementia cases and also develop programmes for society-wide prevention.
While these studies have been carried out in Canada, the algorithm can be modified in line with health survey data in other countries.
Looking after someone with dementia and need a break? Me2U Centre offers half and full-day respite in a warm, friendly nurse-led centre with an abundance of facilities to engage your loved one. Give the team a call.