HealthDay News — Guidelines emphasizing adoption of a healthy lifestyle for reducing the risk for cognitive decline and dementia have been developed by the World Health Organization.

Noting that dementia is a rapidly growing global public health problem, Martin Prince, M.D., from King’s College London, and colleagues developed guidelines for reducing the risk for cognitive decline and dementia for the WHO.

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The guideline focus on adoption of a healthy lifestyle involves physical activity for adults with normal cognition (strong recommendation) and for adults with mild cognitive impairment (conditional recommendation) to reduce the risk for cognitive decline. Adults who use tobacco should be offered interventions for tobacco cessation, and interventions should be offered to reduce or cease hazardous or harmful drinking. For adults with normal cognition and mild cognitive impairment, a Mediterranean-like diet may be recommended for reducing the risk for cognitive decline and/or dementia. A healthy balanced diet based on WHO recommendations should be recommended to all adults. Vitamins B and E, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and multicomplex supplementation should not be recommended for reducing cognitive decline and/or dementia risk. Interventions for overweight and/or obesity may be offered.

“The scientific evidence gathered for these guidelines confirm what we have suspected for some time, that what is good for our heart is also good for our brain,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

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Risk Reduction of Cognitive Decline and Dementia: WHO Guidelines