GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization published its first guidelines on the prevention and management of dementia on Tuesday, putting physical activity at the top of its list of recommendations for preventing cognitive decline.
FILE PHOTO: The World Health Organisation (WHO) headquarters are pictured in Geneva April 27, 2009. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Stopping smoking, a healthy diet and avoiding harmful use of alcohol were also among the recommendations of the WHO’s report, entitled “Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia”.
Treatment for hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes also lowers the risks, the report said.
Neerja Chowdhary, a WHO expert, said that the study had not looked at smoking marijuana and did not include environmental factors, although there was some evidence of a link with pollution, and there was too little evidence of a link with poor sleep to include it in the recommendations.
Vitamins and supplements were not useful and could even be harmful if taken in high doses, she said.
But there was less evidence that cognitive training or social activity would stave off the onset of dementia, and insufficient evidence that…