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We invited experts from the field of public health and dementia to discuss the growing interest in dementia risk reduction and the implications of a new paper launched at the event entitled 'Preventing dementia: a provocation. How can we do more to prevent dementia, save lives and reduce avoidable costs?'
Building on the momentum of the Blackfriars Consensus from Public Health England and the UK Health Forum on “promoting brain health and reducing risks for dementia in the population”, we are keen to stimulate debate and discussion about how we could tackle dementia risk factors at scale and the potential economic, health and societal benefits of dementia risk reduction.
The provocation to be launched on the day posits that we can have a significant impact on reducing the number of people who will develop dementia. The paper identifies a number of risk factors for dementia that are amenable to intervention and have modelled the impact of matching the best-practice interventions on reducing the six main risk factors from global case studies. It is estimated that over the 27-year period from 2013-2040 this could prevent nearly 3 million people developing dementia in the UK. This would reduce the costs to the state in the UK by £42.9 billion (calculated from 2013 and 2040, minus any associated costs of intervention).
We see this paper as a provocation and a starting point for more detailed and rigorous research in this field, and are keen to hear views on further research gaps in this area and other research and policy analysis being carried out.
Speakers included Rebecca Wood (Alzheimer's Research UK), Sally-Marie Bamford (ILC-UK), Phil Hope (Improving Care), Keiran Brett (Improving Care), Shirley Cramer (The Royal Society for Public Health), Dr Charles Alessi (Public Health England), Johan Vos (Alzheimer's Disease International).