Prevention of dementia
Genetic and other risk factors for dementia
A cohort study is one of the methods used to conduct research on risk factors. It is a study in which a group of individuals is monitored over a long period of time to determine which predisposition factors and environmental factors are associated with the onset of disease. The Netherlands Consortium of Dementia Cohorts (NCDC), which was founded in 2018, conducts research on dementia prevention based on data that has been collected for a long time in nine Dutch cohorts.
Expertise on risk and protective factors for dementia is currently being developed in the BIRD-NL Consortium. Research on frontotemporal dementia risk factors and genetic risk factors of dementia is also being conducted. In addition, work is being carried out on identifying which factors are most important in which subgroups, e.g. ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic status, education.
From risk factors to high-risk groups
Once risk factors have been found, high-risk groups can be identified. These high-risk groups can then be approached with a lifestyle intervention, for instance, or they can be asked to participate in a preventive medication study.
Lifestyle interventions to prevent dementia
Which lifestyle interventions are effective in preventing dementia? This is being investigated in the NDPI Consortium. They are also helping people at increased risk of developing dementia to improve their lifestyle. They are looking at using a campaign in the neighbourhood, for instance, or using a smartphone app. The BIRD-NL Consortium is also looking at the impact of lifestyle interventions at an individual level as well as on society as a whole.
The ABOARD Consortium is working toward a future with personalised diagnostics, prediction and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Once the project has been completed, ABOARD will have paved the way for the personalised treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Citizens, patients and their loved ones will feel supported and more in control.
Promoting healthy behaviour
Healthy behaviour in general is beneficial in preventing diseases, such as dementia. More and more studies show that a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of dementia. Policy, working practice, research and education contribute to promoting healthy behaviour and thus prevention. To this end, they are developing and improving preventive interventions that have an effect on the environment, and promote and protect health.