When: Friday, 12 November 2021
In-person at The Hilton Niagara Falls Hotel
Time: 1:00PM to 2:30PM
Cognition is one of the major predictors of day-to-day functional ability, and new strategies for protecting against cognitive decline and impairment are urgently needed in a comprehensive public health framework.
The WHO Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025 recognises dementia as a public health priority and aims to improve the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers, while decreasing the impact of dementia on communities and countries.
Cognitive Reserve is critical to this framework and refers to a human capacity to decouple cognitive function from the accumulation of brain pathology that is so common as we age. It can be built up by voluntary and involuntary exposure to stimulatory environments throughout the lifespan. It is very likely to have contributed to one of the medical triumphs of our generation: a 20-40% decrease in age-adjusted dementia prevalence and incidence over the last two to three decades in some developed countries.
Secular improvements in Cognitive Reserve determining factors such as schooling, higher education and occupational patterns are likely to contribute (amongst other factors) but have evolved in an unplanned way. Understanding and utilising these developments is critical as the greatest growth in dementia burden is yet to come and will occur in lower- and middle-income countries.
Cognitive decline is not inevitable in later life and by extension, there is a public health responsibility to help move people ‘up’ a trajectory class.