Prospects for the prevention of dementia

Anthony F. Jorm

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Prevention of diseases can involve either: (a) their elimination from the lifespan of the individual, or (6) their postponement until later in the lifespan. The elimination of Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia is not likely in the near future, although ongoing trials of vaccination against Alzheimer's pathology offer some prospects. Postponement of dementia remains a more likely scenario. Possible ways of postponing Alzheimer's disease include medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, oestrogen and antioxidants; and possibly the reduction of occupational risk factors like electromagnetic fields and medical risk factors like head trauma. For vascular dementia, there are lifestyle changes and medications like antihypertensives, antiplatelet drugs, folate and cholesterol lowering drugs. Prevention of dementia is sometimes justified on the basis that it will save government money. However, the situation is complex and in some circumstances, prevention may actually lead to an increase in costs to government.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9-13
    Number of pages5
    JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


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