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Scientists develop DemPoRT – a calculator capable of predicting the risk of dementia

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

Canadian researchers have created a dementia calculator that enables people to better understand their brain health and reduce their risk of being diagnosed with dementia in the next five years.

The researchers based the tool named “Dementia Population Risk Tool (DemPoRT)” on data from a survey of more than 75,000 Ontario residents.

“What sets this dementia risk calculator apart is that you don’t need to visit a doctor for any tests. People already have all the information they need to complete the calculator in the comfort of their home,” said Dr. Stacey Fisher, lead author of the study.

The scientists listed the factors that influence the development of dementia. 

The algorithm processes the data on:

  • Age
  • Smoking status and lifetime exposure
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Physical activity
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Sense of belonging
  • Ethnic origin
  • Immigration status
  • Socio-economic situation of the neighborhood
  • Education
  • Activities in which help is needed
  • Civil status
  • Number of languages ​​spoken
  • Healthy conditions

The calculator can be used by people 55 and older to assess their risk for dementia and help them modify their lifestyle, the scientists added.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has also made it clear that sociodemographic variables like ethnicity and neighbourhood play a major role in our health,” said Dr. Peter Tanuseputro, senior author of the study, in a news release.

“This tool [DemPoRT] will give people who fill it out clues about what they can do to reduce their personal risk of dementia,” he added.

There is no cure or treatment for dementia. However, about a third of the cases of this disease can be prevented by factors related to lifestyle, such as physical activity, healthy diet, reduction of alcohol and tobacco consumption, and control of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

The researcher added that sociodemographic variables such as ethnicity and neighborhood play an important role in health, so these factors have also been included in the algorithm.

The research has been published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Image Credit: Getty

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