Understanding Dementia: Metabolic and Psychosocial Risk Factors
Jackson de Carvalho, PhD; Beverly Spears, PhD

Dementia is a national priority, with over six million Americans affected at an annual cost of approximately $200 billion and no available cure. As the elderly population increases exponentially, the incidence of dementia is expected to double every 20 years. Currently, the global incidence of dementia is over 9.9 million new cases every year (Alzheimer's Association, 2018a). The relevant literature often addresses dementia as a degenerative and chronic disease, the course, and the duration of which can vary. The theoretical understanding of dementia has been influenced by the historical perspective of its formulation, which focused on the neurological aspects of the disease. Interest in studying the nature of dementia outside the neuropathology has, however, allowed for additional dimensions of the disease to be explored, namely the psychosocial aspects of the dementia process. Dementia is by far the most common cognitive disorders found among the aging population, and many researchers view it as a serious and growing mental health concern in the United States and around the world. This study explores the metabolic and psychosocial risk factors associated with dementia to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying this disease, which is crucial to combat its high prevalence, incidence, and burdens. To expand the understanding of factors associated with the provision of care and treatment of dementia may lead to a significant increase in the quality of life and optimized functioning in the face of this impactful disease.

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