How to reduce dementia’s risk — Expert – The Nation Newspaper

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How to reduce dementia’s risk — Expert – The Nation Newspaper

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), well known as the Gabi-Williams Alzheimer’s Foundation (GWAF), has, as a prelude to the marking of the World Alzheimer’s Day holding today, held a robust public awareness campaign on how to address the universal upsurge of the devastating disease.

The foundation kicked off the annual World Alzheimer’s Day pre-activities with a public lecture that brought together key stakeholders to discuss critical issues in the field of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The lecture, which was delivered with the theme, “How to Reduce the Risk of Dementia,” by Prof. Gbenga Ogedegbe – a renowned professor of Population Health and Medicine and Associate Vice-Chancellor, New York University School of Medicine, dwelled extensively on effective measures to be taken to help Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers in managing the dreaded disease.

In the lecture, Prof. Ogedegbe described Alzheimer’s as a very dangerous disease that affects the brain, disrupting the patient’s cognitive function, causing progressive death of brain cells and heavily inflicting memory loss and confusion with time or place, among other human destructions.

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The professor, who is also Director, Center for Health Behavior Change, disclosed that there is no definite cure yet for Alzheimer’s disease, but was quick to make it clear that scientific evidence indicates that the risk of the disease can be reduced by regular exercise, eating healthy food, fruits and vegetables, staying socially active and regularly getting a goodnight sleep.

Expressing deep concern on the increased prevalence of dementia in Nigeria and its present huge burden to patients, caregivers and healthcare system, the highly acclaimed professor revealed that dementia is a rapidly growing public health problem affecting around 50million people globally.

Going further, he pointed out that there are nearly 10million new cases every year and that the disease has been properly identified as a major cause of disability and dependency among older people.

In conclusion, Prof. Ogedegbe observed that the disease has become a severe economic burden on society as a whole with the cost of caring for people with dementia estimated to rise to US$ 2trillion annually.

The lecture was rounded off with arts exhibition and auction.

Eminent personalities present at the lecture included, Mr. Eric Duru of Mental Health and Substance Abuse- Public Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Remi Desalu former Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Abisola Williams- Chairman, GWAF Board of Trustees and a host of other dignitaries.

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