An ageing population makes it increasingly important to understand from a public health perspective who is most likely to suffer from dementia.
The Einstein Ageing Study recently published in Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders has offered some new insights into the demographics of the disease. The study of nearly 2,000 people aged 70 or older investigated the prevalence and incidence of a range of conditions linked to dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment.
Not surprisingly, the study found that rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increased with age but were not affected by sex, affecting men and women in equal numbers.
Education and race were also not significant risk factors in these disease areas.
However, rates of amnestic mild cognitive impairment did increase significantly in men and in black populations.
Many people know all too well the devastating effect that dementia can have on the brain, yet it has been found that our memory for music appears to remain undiminished.
Singing for the Brain is a choir run by the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK for people with dementia and their carers. The weekly sessions see even the most seriously affected individuals singing along merrily to tunes of their youth. It seems that music also allows individuals to demonstrate a capacity to remember and learn through increased responses, retention of new lyrics and the creation of new relationships.
Ms Jill Dean, Singing for the Brain, Regional Leader, recently told The Times ‘’We did ‘If You Were the Only Girl in the World’ and there was a couple singing it looking into each other’s eyes, giggling and holding hands, and the rest of the room were dissolving into tears’.”
For more information, visit the Alzheimer's Society.