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AAIC 2022 | Tackling diet and lifestyle for dementia prevention: new findings

Natalia Gonçalves, PhD, University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil, discusses research into diet and other lifestyle modifications as prevention strategies in dementia. With very few, if any, effective pharmacological treatments currently available for patients with dementia or at high risk of future disease, prevention has become a great focus. Dr Gonçalves and her team recently published data showing that high consumption of ultra-processed food is associated with cognitive decline. These data are supported by several other recent publications looking at lifestyle modifications. For example, the 2020 report of the Lancet Commission showed that 40% of dementia cases could be prevented or delayed by targeting 12 potentially modifiable risk factors. Excessive alcohol consumption, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution were newly identified since the 2017 report, with a growing body of evidence supporting those previously reported, including hypertension, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and less education. Additionally, a 2022 prospective cohort study in Neurology showed a higher risk of dementia in individuals with higher ultra-processed food consumption. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022 in San Diego, CA.