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Nonpharmacologic Treatment and Prevention Strategies for Dementia

Yaffe, Kristine MD; Hoang, Tina MSPH

CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology: April 2013 - Volume 19 - Issue 2, Dementia - p 372–381
doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000429178.14354.67
Review Articles

Purpose of Review: Epidemiologic studies can provide critical evidence to inform the timing and duration of nonpharmacologic interventions. Although more studies are needed to further determine long-term efficacy, the evidence supporting modifiable risk factors for prevention is compelling, and prevention strategies that incorporate multidomain nonpharmacologic factors may have the most impact.

Recent Findings:Epidemiologic studies have identified a number of promising nonpharmacologic factors that have the potential to lower the risk of developing dementia.

Summary:Potential modifiable strategies for dementia prevention include cardiovascular risk factors; lifestyle risk factors such as physical, cognitive, and social activity as well as nutrition, smoking, and alcohol use; and sleep quality. Results of randomized controlled trials for the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors have not been consistent, while interventions that increase physical, cognitive, and social activity have demonstrated protective effects for dementia risk. Trials of single-nutrient dietary supplementation have also been conflicting, but focus on multinutrient supplementation shows promise. Observational data also indicate that sleep quality may be a modifiable risk factor for dementia prevention.

Address correspondence to Dr Kristine Yaffe, MD, University of California, San Francisco, 4150 Clement Street, Box 181, San Francisco, CA 94121,

Relationship Disclosure: Dr Yaffe serves on the data and safety monitoring boards for the National Institute on Aging and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; and receives grant support from the NIH, Alzheimer’s Association, American Health Assistance Foundation, the California Department of Public Health, and the US Department of Defense. Ms Hoang reports no disclosure.

Unlabeled Use of Products/Investigational Use Disclosure: Dr Yaffe and Ms Hoang report no disclosures.

© 2013 American Academy of Neurology
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