ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
86°
Partly Cloudy
H 87° L 72°
  • cloudy-day
    86°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 87° L 72°
  • cloudy-day
    73°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 87° L 72°
  • cloudy-day
    85°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Cloudy. H 87° L 72°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

National
Can you prevent dementia? New guidelines offer these suggestions
Close

Can you prevent dementia? New guidelines offer these suggestions

What You Need To Know About Alzheimer's Disease

Can you prevent dementia? New guidelines offer these suggestions

An estimated 50 million people worldwide have dementia.

In 30 years, according to the World Health Organization, that number is expected to triple.

>> Read more trending news

WHO issued new guidelines Tuesday aimed at addressing that growing number and curbing the risk of cognitive decline in people who may be at risk because of their lifestyles.

"In the next 30 years, the number of people with dementia is expected to triple," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. "We need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia. The scientific evidence gathered for these guidelines confirms what we have suspected for some time, that what is good for our heart, is also good for our brain."

While many people associate old age with decreased cognitive function, the WHO study pointed out that dementia is not a natural outcome of aging.

"While age is the strongest known risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia is not a natural or inevitable consequence of aging," the report states. "Prevention of dementia is possible through a public health approach."

What is dementia, what causes it and what does the WHO recommend you do to decrease your chances of suffering from it? Here is a look at dementia and the WHO’s new guidelines.

What is it?

Dementia is not a specific disease, but a group of disorders associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills.

The decline is so severe it reduces a person’s ability to perform simple daily activities and affects memory, comprehension, orientation and judgment among other cognitive functions. The level that a person is impaired is beyond what is considered normal for aging.

Dementia affects people's memory, comprehension, orientation, judgment and other cognitive functions, but is not a natural or inevitable consequence of aging.

What causes it?

A variety of diseases or conditions, like Alzheimer's disease or stroke, can cause dementia, the WHO says. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Vascular dementia, damage to the brain following a stroke, is the second most common type of dementia.

Is dementia reversible?

If dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions that cause progressive dementia, the symptoms are not reversible at the present time. However, there are drugs that can help ease some of the symptoms for a period of time.

If dementia is caused by conditions such as thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies, excessive alcohol use, side effects of medication or depression, then it can be reversed or improved.

Here’s what the WHO study says about factors that contribute to the odds of developing dementia:

While age is the strongest risk factor, dementia is not an inevitable (or natural) consequence of aging.

Lifestyle risk factors, such as physical inactivity, excessive alcohol use and smoking have been linked to the increase in cases of dementia.

Certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and depression are associated with a high risk of developing dementia.
Social isolation and cognitive inactivity are thought to be factors in developing dementia.

Addressing the risk factors above can lead to the prevention or delay of cognitive decline or dementia.

What can you do about it? 

The WHO offers these suggestions:

  • Exercise.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not drink too much.
  • Eat a balanced diet – the report recommends a Mediterranean diet that is mostly plant-based and includes fish, nuts and whole grains.
  • Manage your blood pressure.
  • Manage your weight.

What doesn’t work?

The WHO study says vitamins and other supplements have not been shown to reduce the risk of developing dementia.

(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
NETANYA, ISRAEL - FEBRUARY 22: The World Health Organization is recommending that people follow a Mediterranean diet to help reduce the risk of developing dementia. The Mediterranean diet, a term used to broadly describe the eating habits of the people of the area, is widely believed to be responsible for the low rates of chronic heart disease in the populations of the 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Close

Can you prevent dementia? Here's how according to new WHO guidelines

Photo Credit: (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
NETANYA, ISRAEL - FEBRUARY 22: The World Health Organization is recommending that people follow a Mediterranean diet to help reduce the risk of developing dementia. The Mediterranean diet, a term used to broadly describe the eating habits of the people of the area, is widely believed to be responsible for the low rates of chronic heart disease in the populations of the 16 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Read More

News

  • A man was hitting his wife Sunday morning when he was shot by her son, officials said. >> Read more trending news   Harris County deputies said the 17-year-old shot his stepfather around 2:20 a.m. while the man was beating the boy’s mother, KPRC reported.  The stepfather was flown to a hospital for treatment. His condition is unknown.  It is unclear if the teen will face any charges, KPRC reported. 
  • The reign of 'Avatar' as the top-grossing film of all time is over after a decade. 'Avengers: Endgame' has toppled James Cameron's sci-fi movie to become the highest-grossing box office film in the world.  Variety reported that the Disney and Marvel blockbuster has made more than $2.7902 billion at the global box office Sunday, surpassing the $2.7897 billion gross for 'Avatar.' The announcement was made at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday afternoon, according to The Hollywood Reporter. >> Read more trending news  “A huge congratulations to the Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios teams, and thank you to the fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights,' Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn said in a statement. 'Of course, even with the passage of a decade, the impact of James Cameron’s 'Avatar' remains as powerful as ever, and the astonishing achievements of both of these films are ongoing proof of the power of movies to move people and bring them together in a shared experience. The talented filmmakers behind these worlds have much more in store, and we look forward to the future of both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Pandora.” In June, 'Endgame' returned to theaters with about six minutes of new footage in an effort to dethrone 'Avatar.' It was initially released in theaters in April. The news comes after a slate of new Marvel projects were announced at Comic-Con. A new ensemble franchise, 'Eternals,' was announced, with Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee and Angelina Jolie. Marvel dominates half of the top 10 highest-grossing films in the world. A list of the top 10 all-time worldwide box office grosses is below. 'Avengers: Endgame' - $2.7902 billion 'Avatar' - $2.7897 billion 'Titanic' - $2.1875 billion 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' - $2.0682 billion 'Avengers: Infinity War' - $2.0484 billion 'Jurassic World' - $1.6717 billion 'Marvel's The Avengers' - $1.5188 billion 'Furious 7' - $1.5160 billion 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' - $1.4054 billion 'Black Panther' - $1.3469 billion
  • One person was struck by lightning and seven others nearby were also injured by the impact Sunday, officials said.  >> Read more trending news  A group of people was at Clearwater Beach near Frenchy’s Rockaway restaurant when a man was struck by lightning around 12:42 p.m., causing him to have a heart attack, officials said.  He was taken to a hospital and is in critical condition, officials said. Another person was taken to a hospital with burn injuries. Three others were taken to a hospital with unknown injuries. Another three people refused transport. Lifeguards had left their towers around 12:30 p.m. as severe thunderstorms began to roll through the area.  “Beachgoers should take cover and go to a safe place when lightning and thunder are present,” officials said.
  • The carcass of a minke whale washed up along a Massachusetts beach Friday.  >> Read more trending news   They are not endangered or threatened but the species of whale is part of an unusual mortality event since 2017, with 59 documented deaths along the Atlantic coast from Maine to South Carolina, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Fisheries. They are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Heavy equipment was needed to move the 23-foot marine mammal, considered a young adult, the Cape Cod Times reported. Minke are the smallest of what are considered the great whales. They grow up to 35 feet and weigh up to 20,000 pounds. Their common name comes from a Norwegian whaling spotter named “Meincke” who mistook a minke whale for a blue whale.  A necropsy will be performed Monday.
  • A Jersey Shore mayor is cracking down after hearing an overwhelming number of complaints about seagulls taking food from people along the beach and boardwalk, sometimes right out of their hands. >> Read more trending news   “Some people think it’s funny to feed the gulls and see them swarm,” Ocean City Mayor Jay A. Gillian wrote in a letter Friday. “These birds have become very aggressive and pose a public safety hazard.”  It is against the law to feed them but the city is also looking into the feasibility of netting and other preventive measures, Gillian wrote.
  • Officials are offering a reward for information leading to the people who they say stole from a Walmart store and pointed a gun at a manager.  Three people — a man and two women — shoplifted from a Walmart in Conyers about 4 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.  When the man was confronted, he chambered a pistol and pointed it at a store manager, officials said. The three suspects got into a dark 4-door sedan and fled, authorities said.  Anyone with information is urged to contact Conyers police.  Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website. In other news: