People whose scores on a dementia risk test indicated a less brain-healthy lifestyle, including smoking, high blood pressure and a poor diet, may also have the following: lower scores on thinking skills tests, more changes on brain scans and a higher risk of cognitive impairment. That’s according to a new study published in the August 25, 2021, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study also found that in men, the test scores were associated with poor memory function and markers of brain shrinkage.
“Dementia risk scores might be useful to help identify people at higher risk of dementia earlier, so that potential lifestyle factors can be addressed earlier and monitored more closely,” said study author Sebastian Köhler, PhD, of Maastricht University, the Netherlands. “Our study found that a substantial proportion of brain changes might be attributable to risk factors that can be modified.”