Coping with DEMENTIA
WOMAN'S WEEKLY|November 09, 2021
Dementia is a term for a range of progressive conditions that affect brain function
Dr Gill

TV-viewing risks

We know that long periods of immobility predispose us to venous thromboembolism, such as DVT, but a very large American longitudinal study has found no evidence that people spending a lot of time watching television are at increased risk compared with other sedentary activities. As expected, those reporting high levels of physical activity showed a trend towards reduced venous thromboembolism risks, but there wasn’t any connection seen between TV viewing, physical activity and risk of DVT.

LIFE EXPECTANCY

The marked increase in life expectancy over the past 150 years is now accepted to be a result of shifting most deaths from young to old, resulting from improving healthcare and management of childhood infectious diseases, rather than a slowing of mortality rate increases with age. Curiously, an analysis of ageing in non-human primates shows something similar. We may be close to the limit of how far it is possible to extend human longevity.

Dementia affects more than 850,000 people in the UK – one in 14 people aged over 65, but can affect much younger people. There are 200 subtypes, and the four commonest are: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies, sometimes known as mixed dementia. Around 10% of young-onset dementias are due to genetic mutations such as frontotemporal dementias, rare varieties of Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Dementia damages nerve cells in the brain, preventing normal function.

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