Scientists develop ‘dementia calculator’ to predict your risk within the next five years

Dr Zoe says walking can reduce risk of dementia

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In the past dementia was seen as an inevitable part of ageing.

The view was that as the body declined so too, inevitably, would the mind.

Today, thanks to improved scientific understanding and research, dementia is now understood to be disease and one that can be treated.

Subsequently, governments around the world are playing catch up in a bid to make up for lost time.

At the same time as new treatments are being developed for dementia, there are also scientists and doctors working out how to predict if someone may develop dementia.

To this end scientists from the University of Ottawa have created a dementia calculator.

The purpose of this is to allow someone to predict their risk of developing dementia.

The online exercise takes five to 10 minutes to complete.

Although a significant digital development with regard to dementia, this isn’t the first calculator produced by the company behind the calculator.

Project Big Life, a Canadian venture, has calculators for life expectancy, heart attack, and stroke.

The team behind the calculators say they “wanted to show how our research and public health policy could affect people, their families and their community”.

The team added: “We created an online calculator to demonstrate how healthy living affects a person’s life expectancy, using the same approach that we use to assess how healthy living affects entire communities.”

Currently statistics predict over one million people in the UK will have dementia by the year 2025.

As a result, it’s crucial know the early symptoms so that treatments available today can be given.

Early symptoms include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, finding it hard to carry out familiar tasks, struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word, being confused about time and place.

Mood changes too, are a symptom of dementia.

While there are common symptoms of dementia, they are not the only symptoms as each type of the condition will have a combination unique to it.

Types of dementia include:
• Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia)
• Vascular dementia
• Lewy body dementia
• Frontotemporal dementia
• Mixed dementia.

For more information about dementia contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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