Risk Factors for Cognitive Decline
Cognitive impairment is one of the major symptoms of dementia. The main cognitive functions acc orientation to time and place, recall and memory, attention, language, calculation, and visual construction. Impairment of cognitive functions influences the ability of an individual to live independently, and it diminishes the quality of life. In addition to the consequences for an individual, cognitive impairment imposes a major burden on the health care system because it induces an increased risk of institutionalization and hospitalization. Although cognlttve impairment is a less severe disorder than dementia, it is much more common. In a representative papu lation of subjects over 65 years of age, the prevalence of cognitive impairment was 15.8%, whereas the prevalence of dementia was 4.2%.' The risk of cognitive impairment rises exponentially with age. Therefore, we may expect an increase in the number of people with cognitive impairment in our aging society. At present, there acc a number of medications that can delay the progression of dementia and that can stabilize cognitive function. However, no cure or prevention for these disorders has been found yet. Therefore, it is important to identify modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment and dementia. If these risk factors can be found, preventive intervention may become feasible.
|Publisher||Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam|
|Promotor||Hofman, A. (Albert) , Kromhout, D.|
|Sponsor||Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports, and Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Netherlands Prevention Fund, Municipality of Rotterdam, National Institute of Aging, Bethesda (USA), Netherlands Heart Foundation, Netherlands Diabetes Fund, Stichting Alzheimer Fonds, Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences, Stichting Remmert Adriaan Laan Fonds|
|Keywords||cognitive decline, dementia, neurology|
Kalmijn, S.. (1997, November 26). Risk Factors for Cognitive Decline. Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/20348