Covid-19 Could Accelerate Dementia Epidemic Worldwide

Credit: Disclosure / CENIE

About 50 million people suffer from dementia (Credit: Disclosure / CENIE)

The covid-19 pandemic is expected to increase the rate of people with dementia worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are today, on the planet, 50 million people living with dementia. That number is expected to exceed 150 million by 2050.

The neurologist specializing in dementia and professor at the University of São Camilo, Fábio Porto, warns about the negative impact of the pandemic on the cognitive health of patients. In an interview with BBC News Brasil, the doctor spoke of the importance of talking about dementia, a disease treated as a taboo.

According to the neurologist, the human being is a social animal and was not programmed to live in isolation. “The obligation to isolate ourselves causes great stress,” he said.

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Porto explained that cognitive reserve is like a bank of ideas, knowledge, knowledge and affection accumulated throughout life. “The more we accumulate, the more we have resources to resist when a degenerative disease sets in our brain,” said the doctor.

In those who had covid, research has shown a high prevalence of cognitive decline. “Cognitive impairment can be mild. The person becomes more inattentive, less motivated, more indecisive or may have dementia.”

The expert emphasizes that it is necessary to protect the elderly from these negative effects and digital inclusion can help to solve the problem. “We have to promote digital inclusion, cognitive stimulation and physical exercise among the elderly. The digital inclusion of the elderly will allow contact, even at a distance”, he explained.

Group activities that act on cognitive function can also help in monitoring the elderly. “Everything that is collective and stimulates cognition is valid. Bingo, games, movie, conversation and music. Cognitive stimulus linked to something that gives pleasure”, completed the doctor.

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