"Effective dementia prevention, intervention, and care could transform the future for society and vastly improve living and dying for individuals with dementia and their families. Acting now on what we already know can make this difference happen."
Dementia is the greatest global challenge for health and social care in the 21st century: around 50 million people worldwide have dementia and this number is predicted to triple by 2050.
The Lancet Commission on dementia was convened to review the best available evidence and produce recommendations on how to best manage, or even prevent, the dementia epidemic.
The commission was led by Professor Gill Livingston and included contributions from other members of the Division of Psychiatry: Claudia Cooper, Sergi Costafreda, Jonathan Huntley, Rob Howard, Naaheed Mukadam, Vasilkiki Orgeta, Liz Sampson and Andrew Sommerlad.
Dementia is not an inevitable consequence of ageing and the Commission identified nine potentially modifiable health and lifestyle factors from different phases of life that, if eliminated, might prevent dementia. Although therapies are currently not available to modify the underlying disease process, the Commission outlined pharmacological and social interventions that are able to help manage the manifestations of dementia.