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International research shows dementia rates falling by 15% per decade over last 30 years

International research shows dementia rates falling by 15% per decade over last 30 years

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"International experts have presented research indicating that dementia incidence rates may be falling by up to 15% decade on decade. The findings were discussed at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2019 in Harrogate.

Dementia currently affects 850,000 people in the UK and the condition is now the country’s leading cause of death. While the number of people living with dementia is set to rise dramatically as the population ages, this shift may be masking more positive news on an individual level.

While there haven’t been any new drug treatments for dementia in nearly 20 years, lifestyle changes could be helping to bring down dementia rates and new risk reduction strategies could further prevent or delay dementia

Nearly 500 top scientists gathered at the Harrogate Convention Centre this week for the UK’s largest annual meeting of dementia researchers. The Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference is a forum for researchers to forge collaborations and share new research findings over two days of talks.

Comedian and actor, Stephen Fry welcomed scientists to the Conference in a video message highlighting the vital importance of dementia research. 

Prof Albert Hofman, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, attended the Conference to present the latest insights into how dementia rates seem to be changing over time. 

Analysing data from seven population-based studies in the United States and Europe, Prof Hofman and a global team of researchers set out to determine changes in the incidence of dementia between 1988 and 2015. 

Of 59,230 individuals included in the research, 5,133 developed dementia. The rate of new dementia cases declined by 15% per decade, a finding that was consistent across the different studies included in the analysis. 

The preliminary findings presented at the conference are set to be published in full later this year. "

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