Vol. 5 nº 1 - Jan/Feb/Mar de 2011
Views & Reviews Páginas: 2 a 7

Path dependence in social and psychological risk factors for dementia

Authors Hiroko Matsuoka1; Hidehiko Yamaguchi2


keywords: Alzheimer's disease, dementia, risk factors, prevention, developing countries.

This article focuses on social and psychological risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and cognitive impairment and presents some key points for prevention in developing countries based on previous studies, a social science theory, and our preliminary survey. Previous population-based studies found that educational and occupational attainment, income, participation in social and mental activities, and psychological distress were associated with dementia risk. According to the theory of path dependence, earlier factors largely determine successive ones, where education is one of these early experiences in life. Our preliminary survey suggested that education sets a path that several psychosocial risk factors are dependent on. The expansion of basic education is indispensable. Resources for prevention should be concentrated on individuals with a low level of education. In order to break from a path creating self-reinforcement of risk factors, it is necessary to implement early and active interventions.


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