There is currently no effective treatment for dementia. But there are opportunities to reduce its risk and slow the disease if caught early.
The older we or our relatives get, the more we fear being forgotten. And if in the days of youth this could be attributed to lack of sleep, inattention and laughter at the “girls’ memory” (the short one, of course!!!!), then with age the specter of dementia looms more and more on the horizon. This is, in fact, a manifestation of the deterioration of the brain as the rate of deterioration of memory and mental abilities accelerates and the ability to navigate in space, to count, to reason and to speak is impaired.
Russian psychiatrist Alexander Polikarpov said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper: “Unfortunately, medicine is not yet able to effectively treat dementia. But there are opportunities to reduce the risk of its onset and slow the progression of the disease if it is detected as early as possible.”
The psychiatrist pointed out the relationship between the quality of smell and brain health. He said that the deterioration of the sense of smell may occur as one of the early signs of dementia. The doctor referred to the results of a recent study conducted by the American University of “Chicago”, which showed that in people susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease, as the most common type of dementia, the sense of smell works much worse in old age.
It turned out that people over the age of 69 who had the variant gene associated with the greatest risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease had an average of 37% worse sense of smell.
According to the psychiatrist, with the development of dementia, which can be gradual and slow, there is damage to the centers responsible for recognizing smells in the brain. Such damage is caused by the buildup of the toxic protein (beta-amyloid) in the brain.
It is noteworthy that more than 50 million people in the world were affected by dementia in 2020, according to the latest data of the World Health Organization. And the number of people diagnosed with dementia increases by 10 million each year. Experts predict that 74.7 million people on Earth will suffer from dementia by 2030.