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SPECIAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 87-95

Targeting brain-health from "cradle to grave": Can we prevent or delay dementia?


Department of Neurology, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Bhaskara P. Shelley
Department of Neurology, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2321-4848.133846

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Dementia or the "silver tsunami" is a public health challenge of epidemic proportions of the 21 st century. It imposes enormous burden in terms of economic and social impact on the health care systems and the quality of life of people with dementia, their families and caregivers. For a number of decades, clinicians, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies have laid emphasis on the development of a drug armamentarium for fighting dementia. However, the neurotherapy of dementia targeting the "pathogenesis model" still remains disappointing with no breakthrough in-sight. The cure for dementia is worthy, but an elusive and frustrating goal. On the contrary, epidemiological research does spell optimism and provides a substantial amount of evidence of modifiable risk and protective factors to delay, prevent or shorten dementia. Thus time has come for a "strategic vision for the future" to move away from the current paradigm of curative therapies to a strategy of "preemptive medicine" that identifies disease processes at the earliest stages and prevents rather than attempting to reverse disability. Such a strategy is not only a safer, more dignified option, but also a step forward for a sustainable society in an aging world in order to preserve the mental capital and brain well-being of nations. This would reiterate the concept of "anthroposophical medicine," neurocentric health and preventive neurology strategies to promote healthy brain aging and brain protection. The need to rethink and redefine dementia from a "salutogenesis" perspective as a "lifestyle disorder" and implement multiple preventative life-course approaches through well-designed randomized controlled trials is quintessential to delay, prevent or keep dementia at bay.


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