Researchers Develop New Way Of Predicting Dementia Risk

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British researchers have created a highly precise technique for detecting future dementia cases. Termed the “dementia risk score,” this method effectively anticipates the probability of dementia in people aged 50 and above over a 14-year timeframe. The risk is significantly amplified if the person has diabetes, high blood pressure, or depression.

Researchers created a dementia predicting score

University of Oxford researchers created the system following an in-depth study utilized 11 adjustable risk factors to predict outcomes for individuals starting from middle age. The UK Biobank Dementia Risk Score (UKBDRS) outperformed leading dementia risk scores from Finland (CAIDE), Australia (ANU-ADRI), and the UK (DRS).

Presently, around 50 million individuals worldwide are affected by dementia, a figure that is projected to triple by the year 2050. Nevertheless, the implementation of strategies to mitigate crucial risk elements, predominantly associated with one’s lifestyle, has the potential to avert nearly 40 percent of instances.

Numerous predictive models have been formulated to anticipate the likelihood of an individual’s susceptibility to dementia prior to the window for preventive actions closing. Nonetheless, there has been irregularity observed in several of these prognostic scores. A subset even relies on expensive and intrusive examinations, rendering them inappropriate for employment in primary healthcare settings.

In response to these challenges, the scientists engaged two notable cohorts aged 50 to 73 from a pair of extensive studies including the UK Biobank project (employed for the formulation of the novel risk score) and the Whitehall II research (utilized for the purpose of validation).

Study focussed on dementia related risk

The analysis involved a total of 220,762 participants from the UK Biobank study and 2,934 from the Whitehall II study, focusing on factors related to dementia risk. Through statistical methods, the researchers identified 11 significant predictive factors for dementia, including age, education, diabetes history, depression history/status, stroke history, parental dementia, economic status, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, living alone, and gender.

The APOE gene, linked to dementia risk, affects cholesterol transport in the blood and was found in participants of UK Biobank and Whitehall II studies (157,090 and 2,315 respectively), it was included in the risk score as UKBDRS-APOE variant.

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