New perspectives on dementia prevention: the 2020 Lancet Commission report

Launched at this year’s virtual Alzheimer’s Association International Congress, the 2020 Lancet Commission report on dementia prevention, intervention and care1 has evaluated data for a range of risk factors and the evidence-based actions to prevent the onset or reduce the risk of dementia.

The 2017 Lancet Commission report had previously recognized nine modifiable factors that contribute to the physical, cognitive and social risk for dementia. In their recent update to this report, the Commission added three new factors to that list: excessive alcohol consumption, traumatic head injury and high levels of air pollution. Thus, of all the elements that contribute to the overall risk of dementia, 40% are considered modifiable.

Globally, the number of people at risk of dementia continues to grow, threatening individual wellbeing and the effective operation of healthcare systems. Therefore, there is an ever-stronger argument for multiple interventions to reduce the risk and delay the onset of dementia. The Lancet Commission states that low- and middle-income countries may be particularly affected by the impact of dementia, and more research is needed in these settings.

References

  1. Livingston G et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of
    the Lancet Commission. Lancet 2020;396:413–46.
  2. Livingston G et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. Lancet 2017;390:2673‒734.