I wrote a lot about dementia the early days of this blog. ( You can see all the posts on this subject by clicking on Dementia in the Topics List). I rather gave up after writing about the umpteenth miracle cure that was just around the corner —- berries of every colour and size, bottles of red wine, exercise for the mind and the body. All recommendations were carefully qualified with the need for further research. Yet we seem to be no nearer to defeating this awful disease.
Some of the research was itself quite confusing :- “either learn Gaelic or eat garlic or do both and double you chances of improving your memory”. Some was more compelling :- ” eat nuts or go nuts ” 😀
Meanwhile the number of sufferers is increasing dramatically as the population of older people not only grows significantly, but also ages. The percentage of people with dementia increases rapidly as people get older.
In 2010 there were estimated to be 35,000,000 sufferers worldwide. In Britain there were thought to be 822,000. The ageing of the population will turn a tidal wave into a tsunami that will overwhelm health services in the years ahead. Researchers at University College London and Liverpool University expect the number in England to jump by 60% to 1.2 million by 2040. In the UK that could mean 1.9 million.
Now back to the old messages. Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have found that citrus fruits seem to inhibit memory loss. Their study suggests that eating an orange a day might prevent the development of dementia.
So more oranges and more research are needed fast.