Environmental Factors And Dementia Risk

A person’s likelihood of getting dementia can be influenced by many things. Can the environment around a person impact such risk?

A recent study indicates that multiple environmental factors may be part of the equation when it comes to dementia risk.

The study, from Scotland, reviewed past research on environmental factors and dementia. From this review, the study came up with a list of environmental factors for which there is at least moderate evidence of possible associations with increased dementia risk. Some examples of factors on this list are: air pollution, lack of vitamin D and workplace exposure to certain pesticides.

The researchers cautioned that further research is needed to reach definitive conclusions on the role these factors actually play when it comes to dementia likelihood.

Getting a better idea of what things can up dementia risk could help with things such as prevention and detection of the condition. Dementia is a major health issue throughout the world, including here in America. So, what future research reveals on this topic could have significant implications, here and globally.

Among the things this study underscores is that there is still quite a bit we don’t know about dementia and what causes it. So, currently, no one can be sure that dementia won’t be part of their future. This is why planning for the possibility of someday getting dementia can be important for anybody. Among the planning that can prove useful on this front is forming advanced directives, like power of attorney documents. Such documents allow a person to legally express their wishes on who will handle health and financial decisions for them if dementia or other incapacitating conditions strike. Without such documents, when a person loses the capacity to make such decisions, it could end up being a court (through guardianship and conservatorship proceedings), rather than the person’s wishes that directs who ends up serving these roles.

Attorneys can assist individuals with forming such documents and with other aspects of planning for the possibility of future dementia.

Source: Medical Xpress, “Dementia study lists everyday factors that may influence risk,” Oct. 12, 2016

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