We will develop a tool for clinicians to communicate the risk of dementia with older adults in low and middle income countries. Two thirds of people with dementia live in low or middle income countries (LMIC). The prevalence of dementia in LMIC is rising rapidly due to changing lifestyles and the high prevalence of risk factors. The high costs of care will be challenging for LMIC to meet. Awareness of dementia and its risk factors is low in many LMIC. There are currently no tools that help clinicians to identify older adults who may be at greater risk of dementia and would benefit from preventive programs.
The aim of this pilot project is to assess the feasibility of developing a tool to help clinicians to communicate the risk of dementia to patients and motivate them to address risk factors. Data will be used from the Cuban cohort of the 10/66 Dementia Research Group, which includes data about 2813 participants. Key modifiable risk factors of dementia will be identified and translated into a communication tool that indicates the level of risk depending on the presence of risk factors. Once we have worked out the methods using the Cuban data, funding will be sought to develop the tool for use in other LMIC and to link the levels of risk with preventive programs (e.g. exercise, education). The anticipated long-term benefits are that improved knowledge on risk factors for dementia will inform prevention strategies at the public and individual levels. Lower prevalence of key risk factors will help lower the prevalence of dementia.