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Lifestyle Interventions to Protect against Dementia: Practical Recommendations based on Empirical Evidence

Kelly, Michelle E. and Brennan, Sabina (2012) Lifestyle Interventions to Protect against Dementia: Practical Recommendations based on Empirical Evidence. In: 22nd Alzheimer Europe Conference, 4th-6th October 2012, Vienna, Austria. (Submitted)

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Thanks to improved healthcare, hygiene and nutrition, our life expectancy continues to rise. With increasing age however, comes an increase in the incidence of dementia. Most of us are aware of the prospective social and economic impact of the rising rates of dementia at European and global levels. While pharmacological interventions play an important role in managing dementia, a cure has not been forthcoming. Consequently, interest has grown in non-pharmacological interventions which may delay or even protect against dementia. A large body of research has been conducted, investigating the effects of lifestyle interventions such as leisure activity, exercise and diet on a variety of outcomes; with studies frequently citing encouraging results. Despite this, research in this area tends to be fragmented; with no standardization, little comparability across studies, and few empirical reviews capturing a number of interventions on a number of outcomes. In addition, many studies have made claims that have been sensationalized by popular press, leading to a misrepresentation of results in the public arena. This presentation will provide an overview of the research on lifestyle interventions (social and intellectual stimulation, exercise and diet), focusing on a number of outcomes including risk of dementia, cognitive performance, and neurological change. Practical recommendations will be made, aimed at informing the general public, and based on sufficient empirical evidence. The work presented is the outcome of a joint initiative between the NEIL Program at Trinity College Dublin and the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland who have come together “to promote healthy ageing by transforming empirical data into useable, interpretable and practical health and well-being information”.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2017 14:35
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2017 08:52

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