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Naahaad Mukadam, PhD: Addressing the Dementia Public Health Crisis

A team of researchers have added 3 new modifiable risk factors to a list of 9 known factors that increase the risk of developing dementia.

In recent years, researchers are beginning to close some of the knowledge gaps preventing better treatments of Alzheimer disease and dementia.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Naahaad Mukadam, PhD, Division of Psychiatry, University College London, said there has been an increase in the understanding about how vascular risk factors increase the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer disease, the main type of dementia.

Mukadam said while there is a better understanding on how the build up of different proteins ultimately leads to the disease, trials testing treatments to remove these proteins have not been fruitful.

With that said, Mukadam recently was part of a research team that added 3 risk factors to a list of 9 modifiable risk factors for dementia, which could help reduce the incidence rate of the disease.

The discovery might be coming at a time of critical mass as the population across the world is aging, leading to a concern that dementia could become a public health crisis.

Mukadam said while treatment trials have sputtered, there should be attention paid to identifying even more ways to reduce the risk of dementia.

The study, "Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission," was published online in The Lancet.