Dementia just as high in developing nations


New estimates show the occurrence of dementia in middle-income countries may be the same as in higher-income countries. This is contrary to research which showed significantly lower rates of dementia in developing nations. A research team has also found that education seems to offer a barrier against dementia in less developed countries similar to that in more developed countries.

“Our studies provide supportive evidence for the cognitive reserve hypothesis that better brain development can mitigate the effects of neurodegeneration in later life. Our findings suggest that early life influences, education and learning to read and write, may be particularly important for reducing the risk of dementia in late life. We need to understand more about cognitive reserve, how to measure it, and how it is stimulated across cultures. The high incidence of dementia in less developed countries remind us that we are facing a global epidemic, and there needs to be more focus on prevention,” stated lead study author Martin Prince from King’s College London.

The new study uses newer methods to accommodate the particular idiosyncrasies of low to middle-income countries. The new tests have been demonstrated to provide accurate diagnoses even in individuals with little or no education.

Comparing incidences of dementia it is necessary to compare data from educated populations to that of illiterate populations. Once the tests could be equalized, the data became more reliable and more relevant.

They found that dementia in developed countries focused on low education, female gender and older age.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, The Lancet

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