Dementia is a term that covers different pathologies, the best known of which remains Alzheimer’s disease. Are you at risk of developing this type of pathology? A calculator, developed by Canadian specialists, aims to evaluate your risk.
Affecting more than a million people today in Europe, Alzheimer’s disease is the best-known dementia. A pathology that is evolving rapidly and whose numbers could double by 2050.
What are your risks of developing dementia?
While a recent survey showed that 85% of French people are afraid of one day suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, it is very difficult for everyone to assess their own risk.
Canadian researchers from the University of Ottawa therefore had the idea of developing a calculator, allowing, from the age of 55, to assess one’s risk of dementia. The tool is based on data such as gender, age, origin and level of education.
It also asks about other risk factors on which we can influence, such as tobacco consumption, physical activity, alcohol consumption or even diet. Medical history and other risk factors, such as stress, should also be mentioned.
Be careful with this type of diagnostic tool!
Once all these elements have been entered, the calculator gives a result in the form of a risk percentage. But is this type of tool reliable? When questioned, Dr François Sarkozy, author of “Ageing Happy, It’s Possible” published by Leduc, was skeptical. “Self-assessments of this type can be a source of unnecessary stress or anxiety, so if you experience worrying symptoms, it is better to consult your doctor.” he believes.
What advice should you follow to limit your risk of dementia?
For the specialist, it is essential to take control of your health to reduce the risk of dementia. “This goes through many aspects” believes Dr Sarkozy. He recommends “to take care of your sleep, by sleeping at least seven hours a day, your diet by opting for a Mediterranean diet, but also your curiosity of mind, your sociability and to avoid the toxic substances such as tobacco and alcohol.
Finally, Dr Sarkozy recommends daily physical activity and carrying out regular health check-ups. Without forgetting his final advice: “Be careful not to do all this out of obligation, there is nothing worse. On the contrary, you must love what you do, reach out to others, be in search of meaning and spirituality… In a word: be happy !”.