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      A multimodal precision-prevention approach combining lifestyle intervention with metformin repurposing to prevent cognitive impairment and disability: the MET-FINGER randomised controlled trial protocol

      1 , 2 , , 1 , 3 , 2 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 2 , 7 , 2 , 8 , 9 , 3 , 4 , 2 , 10 , 11 , 5 , 6 , 3 , 12 , 13 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 2 , 14 , 3 , 5 , 1 , 2 , 5 , , 2 , 5 , 6 , 15 , on behalf of the MET-FINGER study team
      Alzheimer's Research & Therapy
      BioMed Central
      Alzheimer’s, Dementia prevention, Cognitive impairment, Lifestyle-drug combination therapy, Lifestyle intervention, Metformin, World-Wide FINGERS, Drug repurposing, APOE

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          Combining multimodal lifestyle interventions and disease-modifying drugs (novel or repurposed) could provide novel precision approaches to prevent cognitive impairment. Metformin is a promising candidate in view of the well-established link between type 2 diabetes (T2D) and Alzheimer’s Disease and emerging evidence of its potential neuro-protective effects (e.g. vascular, metabolic, anti-senescence).

          MET-FINGER aims to test a FINGER 2.0 multimodal intervention, combining an updated FINGER multidomain lifestyle intervention with metformin, where appropriate, in an APOE ε4-enriched population of older adults (60–79 years) at increased risk of dementia.


          MET-FINGER is an international randomised, controlled, parallel-group, phase-IIb proof-of-concept clinical trial, where metformin is included through a trial-within-trial design. 600 participants will be recruited at three sites (UK, Finland, Sweden). Participants at increased risk of dementia based on vascular risk factors and cognitive screening, will be first randomised to the FINGER 2.0 intervention (lifestyle + metformin if eligible; active arm) or to receive regular health advice (control arm). Participants allocated to the FINGER 2.0 intervention group at risk indicators of T2D will be additionally randomised to receive metformin (2000 mg/day or 1000 mg/day) or placebo. The study duration is 2 years. The changes in global cognition (primary outcome, using a Neuropsychological Test Battery), memory, executive function, and processing speed cognitive domains; functional status; lifestyle, vascular, metabolic, and other dementia-related risk factors (secondary outcomes), will be compared between the FINGER 2.0 intervention and the control arm. The feasibility, potential interaction (between-groups differences in healthy lifestyle changes), and disease-modifying effects of the lifestyle-metformin combination will be exploratory outcomes.

          The lifestyle intervention is adapted from the original FINGER trial (diet, physical activity, cognitive training, monitoring of cardiovascular/metabolic risk factors, social interaction) to be consistently delivered in three countries. Metformin is administered as Glucophage®XR/SR 500, (500 mg oral tablets). The metformin/placebo treatment will be double blinded.


          MET-FINGER is the first trial combining a multimodal lifestyle intervention with a putative repurposed disease-modifying drug for cognitive impairment prevention. Although preliminary, its findings will provide crucial information for innovative precision prevention strategies and form the basis for a larger phase-III trial design and future research in this field.

          Trial registration

          ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT05109169).

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13195-023-01355-x.

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          Most cited references51

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          Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission

          Executive summary The number of older people, including those living with dementia, is rising, as younger age mortality declines. However, the age-specific incidence of dementia has fallen in many countries, probably because of improvements in education, nutrition, health care, and lifestyle changes. Overall, a growing body of evidence supports the nine potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia modelled by the 2017 Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care: less education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, and low social contact. We now add three more risk factors for dementia with newer, convincing evidence. These factors are excessive alcohol consumption, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution. We have completed new reviews and meta-analyses and incorporated these into an updated 12 risk factor life-course model of dementia prevention. Together the 12 modifiable risk factors account for around 40% of worldwide dementias, which consequently could theoretically be prevented or delayed. The potential for prevention is high and might be higher in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC) where more dementias occur. Our new life-course model and evidence synthesis has paramount worldwide policy implications. It is never too early and never too late in the life course for dementia prevention. Early-life (younger than 45 years) risks, such as less education, affect cognitive reserve; midlife (45–65 years), and later-life (older than 65 years) risk factors influence reserve and triggering of neuropathological developments. Culture, poverty, and inequality are key drivers of the need for change. Individuals who are most deprived need these changes the most and will derive the highest benefit. Policy should prioritise childhood education for all. Public health initiatives minimising head injury and decreasing harmful alcohol drinking could potentially reduce young-onset and later-life dementia. Midlife systolic blood pressure control should aim for 130 mm Hg or lower to delay or prevent dementia. Stopping smoking, even in later life, ameliorates this risk. Passive smoking is a less considered modifiable risk factor for dementia. Many countries have restricted this exposure. Policy makers should expedite improvements in air quality, particularly in areas with high air pollution. We recommend keeping cognitively, physically, and socially active in midlife and later life although little evidence exists for any single specific activity protecting against dementia. Using hearing aids appears to reduce the excess risk from hearing loss. Sustained exercise in midlife, and possibly later life, protects from dementia, perhaps through decreasing obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk. Depression might be a risk for dementia, but in later life dementia might cause depression. Although behaviour change is difficult and some associations might not be purely causal, individuals have a huge potential to reduce their dementia risk. In LMIC, not everyone has access to secondary education; high rates of hypertension, obesity, and hearing loss exist, and the prevalence of diabetes and smoking are growing, thus an even greater proportion of dementia is potentially preventable. Amyloid-β and tau biomarkers indicate risk of progression to Alzheimer's dementia but most people with normal cognition with only these biomarkers never develop the disease. Although accurate diagnosis is important for patients who have impairments and functional concerns and their families, no evidence exists to support pre-symptomatic diagnosis in everyday practice. Our understanding of dementia aetiology is shifting, with latest description of new pathological causes. In the oldest adults (older than 90 years), in particular, mixed dementia is more common. Blood biomarkers might hold promise for future diagnostic approaches and are more scalable than CSF and brain imaging markers. Wellbeing is the goal of much of dementia care. People with dementia have complex problems and symptoms in many domains. Interventions should be individualised and consider the person as a whole, as well as their family carers. Evidence is accumulating for the effectiveness, at least in the short term, of psychosocial interventions tailored to the patient's needs, to manage neuropsychiatric symptoms. Evidence-based interventions for carers can reduce depressive and anxiety symptoms over years and be cost-effective. Keeping people with dementia physically healthy is important for their cognition. People with dementia have more physical health problems than others of the same age but often receive less community health care and find it particularly difficult to access and organise care. People with dementia have more hospital admissions than other older people, including for illnesses that are potentially manageable at home. They have died disproportionately in the COVID-19 epidemic. Hospitalisations are distressing and are associated with poor outcomes and high costs. Health-care professionals should consider dementia in older people without known dementia who have frequent admissions or who develop delirium. Delirium is common in people with dementia and contributes to cognitive decline. In hospital, care including appropriate sensory stimulation, ensuring fluid intake, and avoiding infections might reduce delirium incidence. Key messages • Three new modifiable risk factors for dementia • New evidence supports adding three modifiable risk factors—excessive alcohol consumption, head injury, and air pollution—to our 2017 Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care life-course model of nine factors (less education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, and infrequent social contact). • Modifying 12 risk factors might prevent or delay up to 40% of dementias. • Be ambitious about prevention • Prevention is about policy and individuals. Contributions to the risk and mitigation of dementia begin early and continue throughout life, so it is never too early or too late. These actions require both public health programmes and individually tailored interventions. In addition to population strategies, policy should address high-risk groups to increase social, cognitive, and physical activity; and vascular health. • Specific actions for risk factors across the life course • Aim to maintain systolic BP of 130 mm Hg or less in midlife from around age 40 years (antihypertensive treatment for hypertension is the only known effective preventive medication for dementia). • Encourage use of hearing aids for hearing loss and reduce hearing loss by protection of ears from excessive noise exposure. • Reduce exposure to air pollution and second-hand tobacco smoke. • Prevent head injury. • Limit alcohol use, as alcohol misuse and drinking more than 21 units weekly increase the risk of dementia. • Avoid smoking uptake and support smoking cessation to stop smoking, as this reduces the risk of dementia even in later life. • Provide all children with primary and secondary education. • Reduce obesity and the linked condition of diabetes. Sustain midlife, and possibly later life physical activity. • Addressing other putative risk factors for dementia, like sleep, through lifestyle interventions, will improve general health. • Tackle inequality and protect people with dementia • Many risk factors cluster around inequalities, which occur particularly in Black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups and in vulnerable populations. Tackling these factors will involve not only health promotion but also societal action to improve the circumstances in which people live their lives. Examples include creating environments that have physical activity as a norm, reducing the population profile of blood pressure rising with age through better patterns of nutrition, and reducing potential excessive noise exposure. • Dementia is rising more in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC) than in high-income countries, because of population ageing and higher frequency of potentially modifiable risk factors. Preventative interventions might yield the largest dementia reductions in LMIC. For those with dementia, recommendations are: • Provide holistic post-diagnostic care • Post-diagnostic care for people with dementia should address physical and mental health, social care, and support. Most people with dementia have other illnesses and might struggle to look after their health and this might result in potentially preventable hospitalisations. • Manage neuropsychiatric symptoms • Specific multicomponent interventions decrease neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with dementia and are the treatments of choice. Psychotropic drugs are often ineffective and might have severe adverse effects. • Care for family carers • Specific interventions for family carers have long-lasting effects on depression and anxiety symptoms, increase quality of life, are cost-effective and might save money. Acting now on dementia prevention, intervention, and care will vastly improve living and dying for individuals with dementia and their families, and thus society. Introduction Worldwide around 50 million people live with dementia, and this number is projected to increase to 152 million by 2050, 1 rising particularly in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC) where around two-thirds of people with dementia live. 1 Dementia affects individuals, their families, and the economy, with global costs estimated at about US$1 trillion annually. 1 We reconvened the 2017 Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention, and care 2 to identify the evidence for advances likely to have the greatest impact since our 2017 paper and build on its work. Our interdisciplinary, international group of experts presented, debated, and agreed on the best available evidence. We adopted a triangulation framework evaluating the consistency of evidence from different lines of research and used that as the basis to evaluate evidence. We have summarised best evidence using, where possible, good- quality systematic reviews, meta-analyses, or individual studies, where these add important knowledge to the field. We performed systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses where needed to generate new evidence for our analysis of potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia. Within this framework, we present a narrative synthesis of evidence including systematic reviews and meta-analyses and explain its balance, strengths, and limitations. We evaluated new evidence on dementia risk in LMIC; risks and protective factors for dementia; detection of Alzheimer's disease; multimorbidity in dementia; and interventions for people affected by dementia. Nearly all the evidence is from studies in high-income countries (HIC), so risks might differ in other countries and interventions might require modification for different cultures and environments. This notion also underpins the critical need to understand the dementias related to life-course disadvantage—whether in HICs or LMICs. Our understanding of dementia aetiology is shifting. A consensus group, for example, has described hippocampal sclerosis associated with TDP-43 proteinopathy, as limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE) dementia, usually found in people older than 80 years, progressing more slowly than Alzheimer's disease, detectable at post-mortem, often mimicking or comorbid with Alzheimer's disease. 3 This situation reflects increasing attention as to how clinical syndromes are and are not related to particular underlying pathologies and how this might change across age. More work is needed, however, before LATE can be used as a valid clinical diagnosis. The fastest growing demographic group in HIC is the oldest adults, those aged over 90 years. Thus a unique opportunity exists to focus on both human biology, in this previously rare population, as well as on meeting their needs and promoting their wellbeing. Prevention of dementia The number of people with dementia is rising. Predictions about future trends in dementia prevalence vary depending on the underlying assumptions and geographical region, but generally suggest substantial increases in overall prevalence related to an ageing population. For example, according to the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study, the global age-standardised prevalence of dementia between 1990 and 2016 was relatively stable, but with an ageing and bigger population the number of people with dementia has more than doubled since 1990. 4 However, in many HIC such as the USA, the UK, and France, age-specific incidence rates are lower in more recent cohorts compared with cohorts from previous decades collected using similar methods and target populations 5 (figure 1 ) and the age-specific incidence of dementia appears to decrease. 6 All-cause dementia incidence is lower in people born more recently, 7 probably due to educational, socio-economic, health care, and lifestyle changes.2, 5 However, in these countries increasing obesity and diabetes and declining physical activity might reverse this trajectory.8, 9 In contrast, age-specific dementia prevalence in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan looks as if it is increasing, as is Alzheimer's in LMIC, although whether diagnostic methods are always the same in comparison studies is unclear.5, 6, 7 Figure 1 Incidence rate ratio comparing new cohorts to old cohorts from five studies of dementia incidence 5 IIDP Project in USA and Nigeria, Bordeaux study in France, and Rotterdam study in the Netherlands adjusted for age. Framingham Heart Study, USA, adjusted for age and sex. CFAS in the UK adjusted for age, sex, area, and deprivation. However, age-specific dementia prevalence is increasing in some other countries. IID=Indianapolis–Ibadan Dementia. CFAS=Cognitive Function and Ageing Study. Adapted from Wu et al, 5 by permission of Springer Nature. Modelling of the UK change suggests a 57% increase in the number of people with dementia from 2016 to 2040, 70% of that expected if age-specific incidence rates remained steady, 10 such that by 2040 there will be 1·2 million UK people with dementia. Models also suggest that there will be future increases both in the number of individuals who are independent and those with complex care needs. 6 In our first report, the 2017 Commission described a life-course model for potentially modifiable risks for dementia. 2 Life course is important when considering risk, for example, obesity and hypertension in midlife predict future dementia, but both weight and blood pressure usually fall in later life in those with or developing dementia, 9 so lower weight and blood pressure in later life might signify illness, not an absence of risk.11, 12, 13, 14 We consider evidence on other potential risk factors and incorporate those with good quality evidence in our model. Figure 2 summarises possible mechanisms of protection from dementia, some of which involve increasing or maintaining cognitive reserve despite pathology and neuropathological damage. There are different terms describing the observed differential susceptibility to age-related and disease-related changes and these are not used consistently.15, 16 A consensus paper defines reserve as a concept accounting for the difference between an individual's clinical picture and their neuropathology. It, divides the concept further into neurobiological brain reserve (eg, numbers of neurones and synapses at a given timepoint), brain maintenance (as neurobiological capital at any timepoint, based on genetics or lifestyle reducing brain changes and pathology development over time) and cognitive reserve as adaptability enabling preservation of cognition or everyday functioning in spite of brain pathology. 15 Cognitive reserve is changeable and quantifying it uses proxy measures such as education, occupational complexity, leisure activity, residual approaches (the variance of cognition not explained by demographic variables and brain measures), or identification of functional networks that might underlie such reserve.15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 Figure 2 Possible brain mechanisms for enhancing or maintaining cognitive reserve and risk reduction of potentially modifiable risk factors in dementia Early-life factors, such as less education, affect the resulting cognitive reserve. Midlife and old-age risk factors influence age-related cognitive decline and triggering of neuropathological developments. Consistent with the hypothesis of cognitive reserve is that older women are more likely to develop dementia than men of the same age, probably partly because on average older women have had less education than older men. Cognitive reserve mechanisms might include preserved metabolism or increased connectivity in temporal and frontal brain areas.17, 18, 19, 20, 21 People in otherwise good physical health can sustain a higher burden of neuropathology without cognitive impairment. 22 Culture, poverty, and inequality are important obstacles to, and drivers of, the need for change to cognitive reserve. Those who are most deprived need these changes the most and will derive the highest benefit from them. Smoking increases air particulate matter, and has vascular and toxic effects. 23 Similarly air pollution might act via vascular mechanisms. 24 Exercise might reduce weight and diabetes risk, improve cardiovascular function, decrease glutamine, or enhance hippocampal neurogenesis. 25 Higher HDL cholesterol might protect against vascular risk and inflammation accompanying amyloid-β (Aβ) pathology in mild cognitive impairment. 26 Dementia in LMIC Numbers of people with dementia in LMIC are rising faster than in HIC because of increases in life expectancy and greater risk factor burden. We previously calculated that nine potentially modifiable risk factors together are associated with 35% of the population attributable fraction (PAFs) of dementia worldwide: less education, high blood pressure, obesity, hearing loss, depression, diabetes, physical inactivity, smoking, and social isolation, assuming causation. 2 Most research data for this calculation came from HIC and there is a relative absence of specific evidence of the impact of risk factors on dementia risk in LMIC, particularly from Africa and Latin America. 27 Calculations considering country-specific prevalence of the nine potentially modifiable risk factors indicate PAF of 40% in China, 41% in India and 56% in Latin America with the potential for these numbers to be even higher depending on which estimates of risk factor frequency are used.28, 29 Therefore a higher potential for dementia prevention exists in these countries than in global estimates that use data predominantly from HIC. If not currently in place, national policies addressing access to education, causes and management of high blood pressure, causes and treatment of hearing loss, socio-economic and commercial drivers of obesity, could be implemented to reduce risk in many countries. The higher social contact observed in the three LMIC regions provides potential insights for HIC on how to influence this risk factor for dementia. 30 We could not consider other risk factors such as poor health in pregnancy of malnourished mothers, difficult births, early life malnutrition, survival with heavy infection burdens alongside malaria and HIV, all of which might add to the risks in LMIC. Diabetes is very common and cigarette smoking is rising in China while falling in most HIC. 31 A meta-analysis found variation of the rates of dementia within China, with a higher prevalence in the north and lower prevalence in central China, estimating 9·5 million people are living with dementia, whereas a slightly later synthesis estimated a higher prevalence of around 11 million.30, 32 These data highlight the need for more focused work in LMIC for more accurate estimates of risk and interventions tailored to each setting. Specific potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia Risk factors in early life (education), midlife (hypertension, obesity, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, and alcohol misuse) and later life (smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation, diabetes, and air pollution) can contribute to increased dementia risk (table 1 ). Good evidence exists for all these risk factors although some late-life factors, such as depression, possibly have a bidirectional impact and are also part of the dementia prodrome.33, 34 Table 1 PAF for 12 dementia risk factors Relative risk for dementia (95% CI) Risk factor prevalence Communality Unweighted PAF Weighted PAF * Early life ( 21 units/week) 1·2 (1·1–1·3) 11·8% 73·3% 2·1% 0·8% Obesity (body-mass index ≥30) 1·6 (1·3–1·9) 3·4% 58·5% 2·0% 0·7% Later life (age >65 years) Smoking 1·6 (1·2–2·2) 27·4% 62·3% 14·1% 5·2% Depression 1·9 (1·6–2·3) 13·2% 69·8% 10·6% 3·9% Social isolation 1·6 (1·3–1·9) 11·0% 28·1% 4·2% 3·5% Physical inactivity 1·4 (1·2–1·7) 17·7% 55·2% 9·6% 1·6% Diabetes 1·5 (1·3–1·8) 6·4% 71·4% 3·1% 1·1% Air pollution 1·1 (1·1–1·1) 75·0% 13·3% 6·3% 2·3% Data are relative risk (95% CI) or %. Overall weighted PAF=39·7%. PAF=population attributable fraction. * Weighted PAF is the relative contribution of each risk factor to the overall PAF when adjusted for communality. In the next section, we briefly describe relevant newly published and illustrative research studies that add to the 2017 Commission's evidence base, including risks and, for some, mitigation. We have chosen studies that are large and representative of the populations, or smaller studies in areas where very little evidence exists. We discuss them in life-course order and within the life course in the order of magnitude of population attributable factor. Education and midlife and late-life cognitive stimulation Education level reached Higher childhood education levels and lifelong higher educational attainment reduce dementia risk.2, 35, 36, 37 New work suggests overall cognitive ability increases, with education, before reaching a plateau in late adolescence, when brain reaches greatest plasticity; with relatively few further gains with education after age 20 years. 38 This suggests cognitive stimulation is more important in early life; much of the apparent later effect might be due to people of higher cognitive function seeking out cognitively stimulating activities and education. 38 It is difficult to separate out the specific impact of education from the effect of overall cognitive ability,38, 39 and the specific impact of later-life cognitive activity from lifelong cognitive function and activity.39, 40 Cognitive maintenance One large study in China tried to separate cognitive activity in adulthood from activities for those with more education, by considering activities judged to appeal to people of different levels of education. 40 It found people older than 65 years who read, played games, or bet more frequently had reduced risk of dementia (n=15 882, odds ratio [OR]=0·7, 95% CI 0·6–0·8). The study excluded people developing dementia less than 3 years after baseline to reduce reverse causation. This finding is consistent with small studies of midlife activities which find them associated with better late-life cognition; so for example, in 205 people aged 30–64 years, followed up until 66–88 years, travel, social outings, playing music, art, physical activity, reading, and speaking a second language, were associated with maintaining cognition, independent of education, occupation, late-life activities, and current structural brain health. 41 Similarly, engaging in intellectual activity as adults, particularly problem solving, for 498 people born in 1936, was associated with cognitive ability acquisition, although not the speed of decline. 42 Cognitive decline The use it or lose it hypothesis suggests that mental activity, in general, might improve cognitive function. People in more cognitively demanding jobs tend to show less cognitive deterioration before, and sometimes after retirement than those in less demanding jobs.43, 44 One systematic review of retirement and cognitive decline found conflicting evidence. 45 Subsequently, a 12-year study of 1658 people found older retirement age but not number of years working, was associated with lower dementia risk. 46 Those retiring because of ill health had lower verbal memory and fluency scores than those retiring for other reasons. 47 Another study found a two-fold increase in episodic memory loss attributable to retirement (n=18 575, mean age 66 years), compared to non-retirees, adjusting for health, age, sex, and wealth. 48 Similarly, in a cohort of 3433 people retiring at a mean age of 61 years, verbal memory declined 38% (95% CI 22–60) faster than before retirement. 44 In countries with younger compared to higher retirement ages, average cognitive performance drops more. 49 Cognitive interventions in normal cognition and mild cognitive impairment A cognitive intervention or cognition-orientated treatment comprises strategies or skills to improve general or specific areas of cognition. 50 Computerised cognitive training programmes have increasingly replaced tasks that were originally paper-and-pencil format with computer-based tasks for practice and training. 51 Three systematic reviews in the general population found no evidence of generalised cognition improvement from specific cognitive interventions, including computerised cognitive training, although the domain trained might improve.52, 53, 54 A meta-analysis of 17 controlled trials of at least 4 hours of computerised cognitive training, (n=351, control n=335) for mild cognitive impairment, found a moderate effect on general cognition post-training (Hedges' g=0·4, 0·2–0·5); 55 however few high quality studies and no long-term high quality evidence about prevention of dementia currently exists. A meta-analysis of 30 trials of computerised, therapy-based and multimodal interventions for mild cognitive impairment found an effect on activities of daily living (d=0·23) and metacognitive outcomes (d=0·30) compared to control. 56 A third systematic review identified five high quality studies, four group-delivered and one by computer, and concluded the evidence for the effects of cognitive training in mild cognitive impairment was insufficient to draw conclusions. 53 A comprehensive, high quality, systematic overview of meta-analyses of cognitive training in healthy older people, those with mild cognitive impairment and those with dementia, found that most were of low standard, were positive and most reached statistical significance but it was unclear whether results were of clinical value because of the poor standard of the studies and heterogeneity of results (figure 3 ). 51 Figure 3 Pooled results of meta-analyses investigating objective cognitive outcomes of cognition-oriented treatment in older adults with and without cognitive impairment K represents the number of primary trials included in the analysis. If a review reported several effect sizes within each outcome domain, a composite was created and k denotes the range of the number of primary trials that contributed to the effect estimate. AMSTAR=A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews (max score 16). Adapted from Gavelin et al, 51 by permission of Springer Nature. In the only randomised controlled trial (RCT) of behavioural activation (221 people) for cognition in amnestic mild cognitive impairment, behavioural activation versus supportive therapy was associated with a decreased 2-year incidence of memory decline (relative risk [RR] 0·12, 0·02–0·74). 57 Hearing impairment Hearing loss had the highest PAF for dementia in our first report, using a meta-analysis of studies of people with normal baseline cognition and hearing loss present at a threshold of 25 dB, which is the WHO threshold for hearing loss. In the 2017 Commission, we found an RR of 1·9 for dementia in populations followed up over 9–17 years, with the long follow-up times making reverse causation bias unlikely. 2 A subsequent meta-analysis using the same three prospective studies measuring hearing using audiometry at baseline, found an increased risk of dementia (OR 1·3, 95% CI 1·0–1·6) per 10 dB of worsening of hearing loss. 58 A cross-sectional study of 6451 individuals designed to be representative of the US population, with a mean age of 59·4 years, found a decrease in cognition with every 10 dB reduction in hearing, which continued to below the clinical threshold so that subclinical levels of hearing impairment (below 25 dB) were significantly related to lower cognition. 59 Although the aetiology still needs further clarification, a small US prospective cohort study of 194 adults without baseline cognitive impairment, (baseline mean age 54·5 years), and at least two brain MRIs, with a mean of 19 years follow-up, found that midlife hearing impairment measured by audiometry, is associated with steeper temporal lobe volume loss, including in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. 60 Hearing aids A 25-year prospective study of 3777 people aged 65 years or older found increased dementia incidence in those with self-reported hearing problems except in those using hearing aids. 61 Similarly, a cross–sectional study found hearing loss was only associated with worse cognition in those not using hearing aids. 62 A US nationally representative survey of 2040 people older than 50 years, tested every two years for 18 years, found immediate and delayed recall deteriorated less after initiation of hearing aid use, adjusting for other risk factors. 63 Hearing aid use was the largest factor protecting from decline (regression coefficient β for higher episodic memory 1·53; p 10 years) studies of loneliness and dementia outcomes have been done. A UK 28-year follow-up study of 10 308 people found that more frequent social contact at age 60 years was associated with lower dementia risk over 15 years of follow-up (HR for one standard deviation social contact frequency 0·9, 95% CI 0·8–1·0). This finding suggests more frequent social contact during late middle age is associated with a modest reduction in dementia risk, independent of socio-economic and other lifestyle factors. 123 A Japanese longitudinal cohort study of 13 984 adults aged older than 65 years with a mean of 10 years follow-up calculated a five-point social contact scale based on: marital status; exchanging support with family members; having contact with friends; participating in community groups; and engaging in paid work. It found the score to be linearly associated with reduced dementia risk; those who scored highest on the five-point scale were 46% less likely to develop incident dementia compared with those in the lowest category. 124 Despite clear cultural variation in the meaning and perception of social isolation, findings of protective effect of more social contact are largely consistent in different settings and for either sex across the studies and meta-analyses.118, 120, 121 Social interventions Little evidence of the effects of social interventions on dementia exists but a systematic review of low quality RCTs of 576 adults aged 60 or more years with normal cognition found facilitated meeting and discussion groups were associated with improved global cognition and increased brain volume at follow-up. 118 Air pollutants Air pollution and particulate pollutants are associated with poor health outcomes, including those related to non-communicable diseases. Attention has turned to their potential effect on the brain. Animal models suggest airborne particulate pollutants accelerate neurodegenerative processes through cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease, Aβ deposition, and amyloid precursor protein processing.125, 126 Although the higher levels of dementia from air pollutants are still subject to the potential for residual confounding, the effects on animal models are evidence of physiological effects over and above those driven by life-course deprivation. High nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration (>41·5 μg/m3; adjusted HR 1·2, 95% CI 1·0–1·3), fine ambient particulate matter (PM)2·5 from traffic exhaust (1·1, 1·0–1·2)127, 128, 129 and PM2·5 from residential wood burning (HR=1·6, 95% CI 1·0–2·4 for a 1 μg/m3 increase) are associated with increased dementia incidence. Traffic often produces NO2 and PM2·5 and it is hard to separate their effects, although evidence for additive effects of different pollutants exists.127, 128, 129 A systematic review of studies until 2018 including 13 longitudinal studies with 1–15 years follow-up of air pollutants exposure and incident dementia, found exposure to PM2·5, NO2, and carbon monoxide were all associated with increased dementia risk. 24 The attributable burden of dementia and excess death from PM2·5 in one large 10-year US study was particularly high in Black or African American individuals and socio-economically disadvantaged communities and related to particulate PM2·5 concentrations above the US guidelines. 130 Sleep Mechanisms by which sleep might affect dementia remain unclear, but sleep disturbance has been linked with β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition,131, 132 reduced glymphatic clearance pathways activation, 133 low grade inflammation, increased Tau, hypoxia132, 134 and cardiovascular disease. 135 Sleep disturbance is hypothesised to increase inflammation which raises Aβ burden, leading to Alzheimer's disease and further sleep disturbance. 136 Two meta-analyses showed similar findings. The first was a synthesis of longitudinal studies with an average of 9·5 years follow-up and the second reported cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies of mixed quality with different methods of measuring sleep. Sleep disturbances were defined broadly, often self-reported and including short and long sleep duration, poor sleep quality, circadian rhythm abnormality, insomnia, and obstructive sleep apnoea. All these disturbances were associated with a higher risk of all-cause dementia (RR 1·2; 95% CI 1·1–1·3) 137 and clinically diagnosed Alzheimer's disease (1·6, 1·3–1·9) compared with no sleep disturbance, although not all cohort studies excluded those with cognitive impairment or dementia at baseline from their analyses. 138 A U-shaped association has been reported between sleep duration and risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia with higher risks of dementia with less than 5 hours (HR=2·6; 95% CI 1·4–5·1) compared with more than 5 and less than 7 and more than 10 hours sleep (2·2, 1·4–3·5) and risks for all-cause dementia and clinically diagnosed Alzheimer's disease being similar.135, 139, 140, 141 The postulated mechanisms of reduced sleep leading to accumulation of Alzheimer's type pathology is inconsistent with the evidence that both more sleep and less sleep are associated with increased risk of dementia. New onset late-life sleep disturbance, a few years before clinical dementia, might be part of the natural history of the dementia syndrome, appearing to be a risk factor, or reflect other disorders, for example, mood disturbances or cardiovascular disease.135, 142 Hypnotic use might increase risks although this is unclear and a 2018 study 139 suggests that findings of a connection were related to reverse causality and confounders. 143 When benzodiazepine use was considered, in one study, sleep length was no longer significant 139 but not in all studies. 135 Those taking hypnotics were at greater risk of dementia than those who did not regardless of sleep duration. 139 Medication for sleep disturbance might be harmful and benzodiazepines are associated with falls, hospital admissions, and possibly dementia.139, 144 Diet Nutrition and dietary components are challenging to research with controversies still raging around the role of many micronutrients and health outcomes in dementia. Observational studies have focused on individual components ranging from folate and B vitamins, Vitamin C, D, E, and selenium amongst others as potential protective factors. 88 There has been a move towards considering the evidence base for whole diets in the last 5 years, particularly high plant intake such as in the Mediterranean diet (high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, cereals, and olive oil; low intake of saturated lipids and meat) or the similar Nordic diet, rather than individual nutrients, which might reduce cognitive decline and dementia. 145 One example is a longitudinal cohort study of 960 participants, ages 58–99 years, in which those reporting the highest intake of green leafy vegetables, equivalent to 1·3 servings per day, had less cognitive decline over 4·7 years than those reporting the lowest intake (β=0·05 standardised units 95% CI 0·02–0·07). 146 The authors report this difference as being equivalent to being 11 years younger. A further prospective cohort study with three midlife dietary assessments in 8255 people, followed up for a mean of nearly 25 years, found neither healthy dietary pattern nor Mediterranean diet protected from dementia, except in those with cardiovascular disease, suggesting that diet might influence dementia risk by protecting from the excess risk of cardiovascular risk factors. 147 Dietary interventions As well as whole diets, there has been some interest in multi-nutrient interventions. A systematic review and a Cochrane review including RCTs of supplements (A, B, C, D, and E; calcium, zinc, copper, and multivitamins trials, n-3 fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins, and herbs) found a lack of evidence for supplement use to preserve cognitive function or prevent dementia in middle-aged (45–64 years) or older people (aged 65 years and older).148, 149 Cochrane reviews found no evidence for beneficial effects on cognition of those with mild cognitive impairment of supplementation with B vitamins for 6 to 24 months 150 or with vitamin E in preventing progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. 151 A 24-month RCT of 311 people of a multi-nutrient drink containing docosahexaenoic acid, vitamins B12, B6, folic acid, and other nutrients; found no significant effect on preventing cognitive deterioration in prodromal Alzheimer's disease. 152 The authors comment that the control group's cognitive decline was much lower than expected, leading to an inadequately powered trial. Meta-analysis of two RCTs with 471 participants with normal cognition found the Mediterranean diet improved global cognition compared to controls (SMD 0·2, 95% CI 0·0–0·4). 153 A further meta-analysis identified five RCTs (n=1888) with a weak effect on global cognition (SMD 0·2, 95% Cl 0·0–0·5) 154 but no benefit of Mediterranean diet for incident cognitive impairment or dementia. The WHO guidelines recommend a Mediterranean diet to reduce the risk of cognitive decline or dementia, as it might help and does not harm, but conclude Vitamins B and E, polyunsaturated fatty acid, and multicomplex supplementation should not be recommended. 97 Trials of combination strategies to prevent dementia The FINGER RCT was a 2-year multidomain intervention to prevent cognitive decline and dementia in 1260 people with cardiovascular risk factors aged 60–77 years, recruited from a Finnish national survey. Similar multidomain studies were discussed in the 2017 Commission. 2 FINGER found a small group reduction in cognitive decline in the intervention group compared with control (comprehensive neuropsychological test battery Z score 0·02, 95% Cl 0·00–0·04) regardless of baseline sociodemographic, socio-economic, cognitive, or cardiovascular status. 155 However, in a subgroup analysis, greater beneficial effects were observed on processing speed in individuals with higher baseline cortical thickness in Alzheimer's disease areas. 156 The Healthy Ageing Through Internet Counselling in the Elderly (HATICE) study recruited 2724 older people (≥65 years) in the Netherlands, Finland, and France with two or more cardiovascular risk factors.157, 158 It compared an interactive internet platform plus remote support by a coach, aiming to improve self-management of vascular risk factors, with a non-interactive control platform with basic health information. A small improvement in the cardiovascular risk composite primary outcome was observed in the intervention group compared with the control group at 18 months, mainly through weight loss, and the dementia risk score was slightly lower in those who received the intervention (mean difference −0·15, 95% CI −0·3 to −0·0). A larger effect was observed in the younger age group (65–70 years) and those with the lowest level of education, who had a higher baseline risk, suggesting that targeting high-risk populations might be more effective. Several multidomain preventive trials are ongoing—for example, World Wide FINGERS. Total PAF calculation We incorporated excessive alcohol consumption, TBI, and air pollution into our life-course model of dementia, as well as the original nine risk factors, because of the updated evidence. To calculate new RRs for excessive alcohol consumption, TBI and air pollution, we systematically reviewed the literature and did new meta-analyses for excessive alcohol consumption and TBI. For the other nine factors, we used values for RR and risk factors prevalence from our previous analysis and calculated communality using the same method as in the 2017 Commission. 2 PAF calculation We used a representative sample of over 10 000 UK community-dwelling adults, to calculate communality (clustering of risk factors) of 11 risk factors for which data existed, 159 to allow calculation of each factor's unique risk. As we could find no datasets measuring TBI, with the other 11 risk factors of interest, we could not calculate its communality. We therefore used the mean of the other 11 communalities to calculate a weighted PAF, so we could include TBI. We used cohabitation as a proxy measure for social contact, and urbanicity for air pollution exposure. Our analysis found four principal components, explaining 55% of the total variance between the eleven risk factors, suggesting substantial overlap. The appendix (p 2) shows the PAF formula and the steps in calculating communality and we detail our new meta-analyses next, which we used to update the figure and perform our new calculations. Incorporation of the new chosen risks in new systematic reviews Alcohol We searched, from inception to Oct 29, 2019, Embase, Allied, and Complementary Medicine, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO terms “dementia” OR “dement*” OR “AD” OR “VaD”, “Alzheimer*” AND “alcohol” OR “ethanol” OR “alcohol*” OR “drink*” OR “drunk*” to update an earlier review. 160 We used inclusion criteria: original population-based cohort studies measuring drinking during midlife, as alcohol intake tends to fall with age; 161 alcohol consumption quantified at baseline by units or number of drinks (one drink, 1·5 units) per week; and all-cause dementia ascertained at follow-up using validated clinical measures. We contacted authors for additional data. 162 Three studies met our inclusion criteria.107, 162, 163 We converted HRs to RRs 164 and used raw data 162 to calculate RR, 165 for our random effects meta-analysis using Generic Inverse Variance Methods. The RR associated with drinking—more than 21 units (168 g) of alcohol weekly—compared with lighter drinking was 1·18 (95% Cl 1·06–1·31; figure 5 ). We used Health Survey England figures for heavier drinking prevalence to calculate PAF as we could not find a worldwide estimate. The weighted PAF was 0·8. Figure 5 Meta-analysis of relative risk of dementia associated with drinking more than 21 units of alcohol per week in midlife compared to lighter consumption of alcohol TBI To estimate the RR of TBI of all severities for all cause dementia, we searched Embase, Medline, and PsycINFO from Jan 1, 2016, to Oct 21, 2019, updating an earlier search, 166 using terms (“traumatic brain injury” or “head injury” or “brain injury” or TBI) AND (neurodegeneration or “cognitive dysfunction” or dementia or “Alzheimer's disease” or “Parkinson's disease” or “frontotemporal dementia”). We converted HR figures to RR.164, 167 We used inclusion criteria: original population-based cohort studies, baseline TBI of all severities reported, and all-cause dementia ascertained at follow-up using validated clinical measures. We combined four new studies meeting inclusion criteria67, 68, 71, 168 with the four studies meeting criteria from the original review in a random effects meta-analysis. 166 The pooled RR was 1·84 (95% CI 1·54–2·20) for all cause dementia from all severities of TBI (figure 6 ) although there was heterogeneity in study-specific estimates, possibly because of different populations. We used the TBI adult population prevalence of 12·1% from a meta-analysis to calculate PAF. 173 The weighted PAF was 3·4. Figure 6 Meta-analysis of relative risk of all-cause dementia associated with all severity midlife traumatic brain injury Pollution A 2019 systematic review synthesised observational studies, finding consistently increased risk of dementia from air pollution, but heterogeneous comparator groups precluded meta-analysis. 24 We updated the search, using the same search terms and searching MEDLINE, Embase, and PsycINFO from Sept 20, 2018, (the end date of the last search) to Oct 22, 2019. We included longitudinal studies with assessment of all cause air pollution exposure; use of formal assessment of cognitive function at baseline; report of incident all-cause dementia, data from adults (age ≥18 years); and a minimum follow-up of 6 months. As meta-analysis was not possible, we used data from the only study of all-cause air pollution with the outcome of all-cause dementia, with low-moderate risk of bias. This population-based, observational cohort was from Canada, where pollutant concentrations are among the lowest in the world and examined 2 066 639 people, with a mean baseline age of 67 years. 174 We calculated the RR of dementia for those in the three highest quartiles compared to the lowest was 1·09 (1·07–1·11). The attributable fraction for exposure to the highest three quartiles versus the lowest quartile of PM2·5 and NO2 was 6·1% (4·8–7·5). The weighted PAF was 2·3. Table 1 displays the prevalence, communality, relative risk, unweighted and weighted PAFs adjusted for communality. Figure 7 shows the updated life-course model of potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia, including the three new risk factors. Figure 7 Population attributable fraction of potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia Strengths and limitations This Commission is the most comprehensive analysis to date and updates the 2017 Commission with emerging risk factor evidence convincing enough to calculate PAF for potentially reversible risk factors. We reviewed the literature systematically for the chosen risk factors and provided illustrative new literature to update our synthesis and identify data to calculate communality. We find a hopeful picture with an estimate of around 40% of all cases of dementia being associated with 12 potentially modifiable risk factors. We have made assumptions to calculate this new model. We used global figures for dementia risk although we know the risk factors prevalence varies between countries and most global research is from HIC, so LMIC are under-represented because of lack of data. We have assumed a causal relationship between risk factors and dementia, although we have been cautious and not included risk factors with less good evidence. No single database exists with all 12 risk factors together, but we found 11 of the factors in a UK database and used the mean figure for communality calculations for TBI. We calculated communality for the other 11. We do not know how far findings of communality in other geographical populations might differ, or in those with a differing distribution of age groups or sex. We found that social isolation was not explicitly measured and had to use proxies, such as cohabitation when considering prevalence, which are approximate. Specifically, evidence for the association of alcohol misuse with dementia comes from HIC and future studies from LMIC are needed to complete the picture. Exposure to air pollution changes over a lifetime and is inextricably linked to poverty and deprivation. However, the effects on animal models suggests specific physiological effects over and above those driven by life-course deprivation. We also considered the overlap with education for this and other risk factors and the correction for education, strongly inversely linked to deprivation, will address at least some of the confounding. However, the results in one study which reported the effect of air pollution on incident dementia showed very little difference in estimates before and after adjustment for education and other risk factors, suggesting little residual confounding exists. 174 We were also unable to meta-analyse data on pollution and thus unlike the other relative risks, the figure comes from only one study, from an area of low pollution so is likely to be an underestimate. The longitudinal evidence linking potentially modifiable risk factors to dementia generally fulfils causality criteria in observational data (strength, consistency, biological plausibility, temporality, dose–response, coherence, and quasi-experimental studies, for example, more education or using hearing aids). When measuring a risk nearer to the age of dementia onset, then it is more likely that prodromal change affects, or even causes it. Alternatively, a risk factor might act on preclinical pathology or even cause dementia near the time of exposure. Thus, excessive alcohol, and TBI are particularly important in young-onset dementia, although many early onset dementias relate to genetic risks. Risk factors might also matter more at a time of higher biological vulnerability, which the studies we have drawn on cannot establish. The length of exposure required for risk or protection effect, and their inter-relationships as they change across life is unclear—it seems probable that longer or more intense exposure has stronger effects. Additionally, as our communality figures show, risk factors overlap. We cannot establish from these data if having multiple risk factors has an additive or synergistic effect. Association does not prove causation, however, as already noted, the reductions in prevalence and incidence in several HIC suggests that at least some of the risk factors estimated here do have a causal relationship with the clinical expression of dementia. Key points and recommendations We judge that sufficient new evidence supports adding three additional modifiable risk factors for dementia to our 2017 Commission model (excessive alcohol, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution). We have been able to add updated evidence on the nine risk factors implicated in the 2017 Commission (education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, inactivity, diabetes, and social contact). Reduction of these risk factors might be protective for people with or without a genetic risk, although study findings have not been entirely consistent.175, 176, 177, 178 As we noted in the 2017 Commission, others have previously calculated an estimate of the risk associated with APOε4 at 7% taking into account some other risk factors and this estimate highlights how relatively important potentially modifiable risk factors are in dementia.2, 179 For some risk factors, the pattern of risk and the individual's other health, both physical and mental, might be especially important. Currently, the evidence suggests a Mediterranean or Scandinavian diet might have value in preventing cognitive decline in people with intact cognition, particularly as one component of a healthy lifestyle, although how long the exposure has to be or during which ages is unclear. We do not recommend taking additional vitamins, oils, or mixed dietary supplements as a means of preventing dementia as extensive testing in trials has not led to signals of beneficial effects. Data from RCTs on interventions to prevent cognitive decline, all-cause dementia, or Alzheimer's disease are few. For some key life influences, only observational data, particularly related to natural experiments such as changing the statutory education age, are possible. These influences should be investigated systematically wherever possible. Others can theoretically be investigated but the long follow-up required for midlife risk and protective factors and non-random attrition in longer studies are challenging. Using intermediate endpoints, such as cognition, and dementia onset in research remains uncertain because no intermediate markers with such a close relationship to dementia outcomes exist that it would be possible to predict with certainty for any given individual, age, and sex. Overall, the evidence for treating hypertension is strongest and high blood pressure throughout midlife increases the risk of dementia even without stroke. Although a need for more evidence is apparent, recommendations should not wait, as clear indications of ways to reduce the chances of developing dementia without causing harm will also lead to other health and wellbeing benefits. Our recommended strategies for dementia risk reduction include both population-wide and targeted interventions (panel ). It is important to remember that more socially disadvantaged groups, including Black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups, are particularly at risk. Panel Recommended strategies for dementia risk reduction Risks are particularly high in more socially disadvantaged populations including in Black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups. Population-wide • Prioritise childhood education for all, worldwide • Implement social public health policies that reduce hypertension risk in the entire population • Develop policies that encourage social, cognitive, and physical activity across the life course for all (with no evidence for any specific activities being more protective) • Scrutinise the risks for hearing loss throughout the life course, to reduce the risk of exposure to this risk factor • Reduce the risk of serious brain trauma in relevant settings, including occupational and transport • National and international policies to reduce population exposure to air pollution • Continue to strengthen national and international efforts to reduce exposure to smoking, both for children and adults, and to reduce uptake and encourage cessation Targeted on individuals • Treat hypertension and aim for SBP <130 mm Hg in midlife • Use hearing aids for hearing loss; we need to help people wear hearing aids as many find them unacceptable, too difficult to use, or ineffective • Avoid or discourage drinking 21 or more units of alcohol per week • Prevent head trauma where an individual is at high risk • Stopping smoking is beneficial regardless of age • Reduce obesity and the linked condition of diabetes by healthy food availability and an environment to increase movement • Sustain midlife, and possibly late-life physical activity Although we have more to learn about effectiveness, avoiding or delaying even a proportion of potentially modifiable dementias should be a national priority for all. Interventions and care in dementia Not all dementia will be preventable and we present the latest evidence on intervention and care for dementia. To date the emphasis has been on specific subtypes of dementia, most notably on Alzheimer's disease, which has been conceptualised over the years in a variety of changing diagnostic criteria—eg, DSM IV and DSM V.180, 181 Intense efforts have been put into biomarkers for early preclinical detection of the disease process before it becomes dementia. Biomarkers need to show reliability and validity, and for dementias they also need to be very closely and clearly related to clinical syndrome outcomes in the way that, for example, human papillomavirus is for cervical cancer, and hypertension has been for stroke. Biomarkers and detection of Alzheimer's disease Markers of neurodegeneration linked to clinical dementia include brain volume loss—ie, hippocampal volume loss and entorhinal cortex and medial temporal cortical thinning—seen in structural imaging. The most studied molecular markers are in Alzheimer's disease and are amyloid and tau, which PET and CSF detect clinically. The prevalence of particular pathologies at different ages is important in interpretation of such studies. So, for example, population derived studies show increases in plaques in the population from less than 3% at age 50–59 years to around 40% at age 80–89 years. 182 Amyloid imaging Amyloid imaging detects amyloid in the brain with high sensitivity and specificity in both cognitively normal and people with Alzheimer's disease when the gold-standard comparison is either neuropathology or clinical diagnosis, distinguishing Alzheimer's disease from other neurodegenerative conditions. 183 Amyloid imaging is not a diagnostic test for dementia. A US study of randomly selected older people from the community recruited 1671 people (mean age of 71 years). 182 The prevalence of PET detected amyloid positivity increased from 2·7% (95% CI 0·5–4·9) of people without cognitive impairment aged 50–59 years to 41·3% (95% CI 33·4–49·2%) aged 80–89 years. 182 In 10-year follow-up PET positivity was associated with a higher probability of developing Alzheimer's disease compared with those who were amyloid negative (HR 2·6, 95% CI 1·4–4·9). In participants with mild cognitive impairment who were amyloid positive the probability (HR 1·9, 95% CI 0·9–3·9) was not very different to those who were amyloid negative (1·6, 0·8–3·4). Similarly, an 8-year follow-up study of 599 volunteers (average age 70 years) in Australia found that cognitively normal PET amyloid-positive people had an elevated risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared with amyloid negative (17·7% vs 8·1%; OR 2·4, 95% CI 1·5–4·0). 184 Over 80% of the 266 people who were PET amyloid-positive did not go onto develop a cognitive impairment within 8 years, showing positive status does not predict impairment for most people in a timeframe that might be a useful prognostic window. Follow-up at 5 years of amyloid-positive participants with normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment versus amyloid negative people found the same pattern of increased risk (2·6, 1·4–4·9). Risk also increases per 1 year of age (HR 1·05, 95% CI 0·55–2·0/year), and APOEε4 status (2·6, 1·4–5·0). 184 Most people who are amyloid positive with no other markers have not developed Alzheimer's disease dementia during their lifetime. A model of lifetime risks of people who are amyloid positive without any other biomarkers finds it to be 8·4% for a 90-year-old woman who is cognitively normal at baseline, 23·5% for a 75-year-old woman and 29·3% for a 65-year-old woman. 185 The 10-year risk is considerably less, so a 65-year-old woman with only amyloid biomarkers but who is cognitively normal and has no neurodegeneration has a 10-year Alzheimer's disease risk of 2·5% and a man 2·3%, but the risk is higher with accompanying neurodegeneration (table 2 ). 185 Table 2 Ten-year risks by age of developing Alzheimer's disease for women based on amyloidosis alone and in the presence of neurodegeneration and mild cognitive impairment Normal state 1 Amyloidosis state 2 Neurodegeneration state 3 Amyloidosis and neurodegeneration state 4 Mild cognitive impairment and amyloidosis and neurodegeneration state 5 Mild cognitive impairment and neurodegeneration state 6 60 years 0·2 (0·06–0·8) 1·3 (0·6–2·5) 3·6 (1·1–14·2) 7·1 (4·5–10·9) 93·5 (91·1–95·0) 57·2 (48·2–67·9) 65 years 0·5 (0·14–1·8) 2·5 (1·2–4·9) 4·3 (1·4–15·0) 10·7 (6·8–16·2) 91·7 (89·2–93·5) 55·4 (46·6–65·8) 70 years 1·1 (0·34–3·5) 4·7 (2·4–8·7) 5·5 (2·0–16·6) 15·5 (10·0–22·8) 88·6 (85·8–90·6) 52·2 (43·8–62·4) 75 years 2·2 (0·74–6·5) 7·8 (4·1–14·0) 7·3 (2·9–19·0) 20·8 (13·7–29·7) 83·8 (80·7–86·2) 47·4 (39·6–57·0) 80 years 3·7 (1·3–9·8) 11·1 (6·0–18·7) 9·3 (3·9–20·9) 24·4 (16·4–33·8) 75·8 (72·2–78·7) 40·0 (33·1–48·6) 85 years 4·7 (1·8–11·0) 11·5 (6·5–18·5) 9·7 (4·3–19·3) 23·1 (15·8–31·2) 63·7 (59·6–67·2) 30·0 (24·5–37·2) 90 years 3·8 (1·5–8·2) 8·2 (4·7–12·9) 7·1 (3·3–13·3) 16·8 (11·5–22·6) 46·7 (42·7–50·2) 19·1 (15·3–24·3) Data are relative risk (95% CI) or %. Reproduced from Brookmeyer and Abdalla 185 by permission of Elsevier. Overall, the knowledge of PET-measured amyloid and tau status and MRI-derived cortical thickness in a general population derived sample, only adds a small improvement, which might not be clinically important for predicting memory decline over a model with clinical and genetic variables. 186 Using amyloid PET in patients with cognitive impairment of uncertain causes, results in changes to the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease 187 and sometimes to medication prescription. We do not know whether PET use improves patient care or decreases care costs. Many people have a mixed cause of dementia and a positive result does not indicate only Alzheimer's disease. Fluid biomarkers PET imaging is very costly (US$3000 in the USA) and although used in some clinical settings remains the topic of research to understand its usefulness in broader populations. Fluid biomarkers—ie, blood and cerebrospinal fluid tests—have become a more practical focus of interest since it has become possible to measure specific proteins linked to the proteins associated with the neuropathologies of Alzheimer's disease. 188 A composite blood biomarker for amyloid tested in a discovery dataset and then a validation cohort of participants aged 60–90 years who were already taking part in studies in Japan or Australia had areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves of 96·7% for discovery and 94·1% for validation. The blood biomarker had sensitivity and specificity above 80% against amyloid PET measurement 188 and correlated with CSF concentrations of Aβ1–42. These results are similar to other amyloid blood biomarkers189, 190 and harmonisation to a common reference standard is now vital. Although CSF Aβ1–42/1–40 ratio and amyloid PET are now considered interchangeable, 191 CSF tau biomarkers have only correlated weakly with brain tau as currently measured by radioligands. 192 Neurofilament light protein is measured in many cohorts; however, it is non-specific. People with Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease might have raised blood neurofilament light concentrations, which are a marker of neurodegeneration.193, 194, 195 Key points and conclusions To be useful in clinical practice biomarkers must be well understood in the populations to which they are going to be applied, including the effects of age and sex on results. There is now reasonable evidence that amyloid and tau measured by PET or in fluid indicate increased risk for development of cognitive impairment in older adults but at the individual level prognostication is not possible as most cognitively normal people with these markers do not develop dementia within a clinically relevant timeframe. Negative amyloid results can be useful for ruling out current Alzheimer's pathology in people with cognitive impairment when the cause is uncertain and show an individual is unlikely to develop Alzheimer's disease during the next few years. High neurofilament light concentrations indicate a neurodegenerative process but not its cause. The value of biomarkers, in terms of diagnostic value, has not been addressed in different representative populations and particularly not in those from LMIC. The potential advantages of blood biomarkers are their low cost and their wider acceptability and applicability in many settings. In many areas of medicine more reliable diagnostic tests have improved research, including epidemiological and public health research and trials, to help distinguish cause from symptom (tuberculosis from a fever) or assess risk factor and disease (hypercholesterolaemia and ischaemic heart disease). Those biomarkers developed for the underlying biology of the dementia syndrome are subject to the same assessment of value. Principles of intervention in people with dementia In the 2017 Commission, we discussed that when concerns are raised by patients or family, an accurate diagnosis is helpful. Such a diagnosis provides a gateway to intervention and services where available, for planning for possible futures, and support for family, as well as to research. Unfortunately, these services are not always available. National plans for dementia support timely diagnosis and offer help to individuals and their families. We did not address screening of those not presenting with concerns but rigorous systematic reviews by the US Task Force on Prevention have found an absence of evidence of benefit and harm. 196 The first trial of population screening took place in the USA, screening 4005 primary care patients aged 65 years or older. No clear benefit or harm in terms of quality of life, mood, or increasing diagnostic rates was found. 197 Other strategies might become more valuable in time such as sensitive awareness of risk factors, when routine records suggest an individual might be deteriorating cognitively. 198 People with dementia have complex problems with symptoms in many domains. Those providing support and any interventions must consider the person as a whole, as well as their context and their close carers, whether family or friends. Individuals' medical, cognitive, psychological, environmental, cultural, and social needs must be given consideration. 2 In the context of under provision of services, this notion is and will continue to be a challenge. Dementia, as an illness which affects cognition by definition, affects the ability to organise activities and people with dementia often need help to do what they enjoy—for example, listen to music, or go to gardens and parks. Wellbeing is one of the goals of dementia care. Interventions once a diagnosis has been made Medication Cholinesterase inhibitors have a useful, modest role in improving cognition and activities of daily living in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease and memantine can be prescribed in combination or each drug used separately for moderate and severe Alzheimer's disease.2, 199, 200 However, although available in most countries these drugs are no longer remunerated in France because it is felt that they offer only a small benefit while shifting clinician's attention from other interventions. Whether non-prescribing of this drug will help patients by removing an intervention with known benefit or be detrimental to them is unknown. 201 No advances have been reported in Aβ therapeutics, with negative results from phase 3 trials of monoclonal antibodies (eg, solanezumab, crenezumab) and inhibitors of β-secretase, a protease involved in the production of Aβ peptides. 202 Aducanumab previously abandoned as futile now has further unpublished results. Three 5HT6 antagonists and the calcium channel blocker nilvadipine203, 204 have also been ineffective. These drugs also show substantial impact during treatments at so-called therapeutic concentrations on the leakiness of blood vessels. The long-term impact of such side-effects is unknown. Anti-tau, anti-amyloid, and anti-inflammatory drugs continue to be in focus and some argue that pre-symptomatic interventions are necessary, especially if targeting Aβ production, but no evidence of efficacy 205 and some evidence of worsening target symptoms currently exists. 206 Cognitive training in people with dementia A meta-analysis of 12 controlled trials of 389 people with mild dementia, completing 4 or more hours of group-based computerised cognitive training (mean age 66–81 years, 63·5% female participants), found a small, statistically significant beneficial effect on overall cognition, driven by two trials of virtual reality or Video games (SMD=0·3, 95% CI 0·0–0·5), one with a low and one with a high risk of bias. 55 A Cochrane review 207 found 33 trials of cognitive training, only one of which overlapped with the study above, with around 2000 participants with mild-to-moderate dementia, most with a high or uncertain risk of bias. 207 People completing cognitive training, compared with usual treatment or non-specific activities, had small-to-moderate effects on overall cognition (SMD 0·4, 95% CI 0·2–0·6) and specific cognitive abilities such as verbal fluency and improvements lasted for a few months to 1 year. No direct evidence was observed to suggest that cognitive training was better than cognitive stimulation therapy. Exercise and physical activity The Dementia and Physical Activity RCT 208 found moderate-to-high intensity aerobic and strength exercise training did not slow cognitive impairment in people with mild-to-moderate dementia but improved physical fitness. The US Reducing Disability in Dementia study 209 implemented an at-home multicomponent intervention including exercise education, training to increase pleasant events, and activator-behaviour-consequence problem-solving approach over 6 weeks by case managers in 255 community dwelling people with dementia older than 60 years and their family carer and were able to follow up 140 (54·9%). The study found increased physical activity; days of taking 30 or more minutes of exercise (effect size 0·6, 95% CI 0·4–0·8 after the treatment and 0·3, 0·1–0·5 at 13 months) in a before and after intervention comparison. Interventions for neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia Neuropsychiatric symptoms are common and often clustered in people with dementia. These symptoms might precede dementia and are associated with tau and amyloid neuropathology. 210 This suggests that underlying neurobiological mechanisms might underpin neuropsychiatric symptoms. However, other drivers relating to the personal history and the environment of the person with dementia are also likely to exist. Neurodegeneration could lead to increased vulnerability to stressors or triggers. Genetics, cognitive reserve, resilience, medical comorbidities, and environment including responses of carers might modify these relationships. Needs and responses will also be individual and relate to a person's own social, cultural, and historical context. First-line assessment and management of neuropsychiatric symptoms should focus on basic health: describe and diagnose symptoms; look for causes such as pain (using validated pain assessments might help), illness, discomfort, hunger, loneliness, boredom, lack of intimacy and worry that could cause the behaviours and alleviate these while considering risks of harm. 2 No new evidence of medication effectiveness for these symptoms exists; risperidone in low doses (0·5 mg daily) and some other antipsychotics are sometimes effective but often ineffective and have adverse effects. 2 Specific initiatives have led to a decrease in antipsychotic prescriptions for people with dementia, although often replaced with other psychotropics (figure 8 ), such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and mood stabilisers. 211 These psychotropics lack evidence of efficacy for neuropsychiatric symptoms but show clear evidence of possible harm; for example, trazodone and benzodiazepines increase fall-related injuries. 144 Major policy changes should be assessed carefully, within and across countries for unintended consequences (and perhaps unexpected benefits) and their costs. Figure 8 Proportion of patients with a diagnosis of dementia prescribed an antipsychotic drug (A) and those prescribed an anxiolytic, hypnotic, or antidepressant (B) CPRD=Clinical Practice Research Datalink. Reproduced from Donegan et al, 211 by permission of Elsevier. Evidence is slowly accumulating for the effectiveness, at least in the short term, of person-centred evidence-based psychosocial interventions. In Germany, a 6-month cluster RCT of nurse-delivered, supervised dementia care management used a computer-assisted nurse assessment to determine personalised intervention modules, then a multi-disciplinary team discussion and agreement with the physician for 634 people (mean age 80 years) with dementia living at home with a primary carer or alone. 212 The mean mini mental state examination (MMSE) was 23, only 38% had a formal diagnosis of dementia; the majority of participants (51%) had mild dementia but some had moderate and some severe dementia. The intervention consisted of psychosocial management of treatment and care, medication management and carer support, and education and discussion with a psychiatrist or neurologist. The intervention, compared with care as usual, was associated with better outcomes for neuropsychiatric symptoms (Neuropsychiatric Inventory [NPI] score −7·5, 95% CI −11·1 to −3·8), however this effect could be because of deterioration in care as usual (in the care as usual group NPI increased from 7·2 to 15·2; in the intervention group NPI increased from 7·6 to 8·2). This between-group reduction in neuropsychiatric symptoms was greater than that expected, extrapolating from other study results, with antipsychotic medication. Effects on quality of life were only apparent for those people living with a carer. An eight-session home-based tailored activity programme RCT, tailored both to the person with dementia living at home and to a family member compared with eight telephone-based education sessions, recruited 160 participants with 64% follow-up, imputing values for the rest. 213 The study reported a large reduction in overall neuropsychiatric symptoms immediately after the intervention, which were better in the group receiving home-based tailored activity programme on the neuropsychiatric inventory (mean difference in score 24·3, 95% CI 3·1–45·6), and on functional dependence and pain but this was not sustained 4 months later. Non-completers had more severe neuropsychiatric symptoms. Depression Since the 2017 Commission two new systematic reviews of antidepressants to treat depression in dementia reported moderate quality evidence that antidepressant treatment for people with dementia does not lead to better control of symptomatology compared with placebo.214, 215 Agitation Agitation is distressing for people with dementia and those around them, and contributes substantially to the overall costs as the level of agitation increases. 216 The body of evidence on this key behaviour is growing, mostly focused on care-home settings. These findings are valuable as these populations are most affected; however, because many people with dementia reside at home a major gap in knowledge remains. Care home residents with agitation often find sitting still difficult and therefore might not be included in activities.217, 218 Two new cluster RCTs of professionals delivering multicomponent, interdisciplinary, interventions in care homes successfully reduced agitation. The WHELD study 219 included participants with or without neuropsychiatric symptoms and provided person-centred care, aiming to improve communication with people with dementia. It implemented social, sensory experiences or other activities; educated about antipsychotic review; and addressed physical problems, finding lower Cohen Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI) at 9 months (MD −4·3 points, 95% CI −7·3 to −1·2). 219 The TIME study 220 for people with moderate-to-high levels of agitation consisted of a manual-based comprehensive assessment of the resident and structured case conference for the staff and doctor, to create a tailored plan, and then implement it. This intervention led to reduced agitation at 8 weeks (NPI −1·1 points, 95% CI −0·1 to −2·1; CMAI −4·7 points, −0·6 to −8·8) and 12 weeks (NPI −1·6, −0·6 to −2·7; CMAI −5·9, −1·7 to −10·1). 220 These effect sizes are similar to those seen for medications, but without harmful side-effects.2, 221 A further RCT studied a six-session intervention with staff in groups, teaching staff to understand agitation as related to medical, psychological, or social unmet needs and to implement strategies to meet these needs, using the describe, investigate, create, and evaluate approach. 222 The intervention did not reduce agitation symptoms, although it was cost-effective, improving quality of life. 223 Overall, the current evidence for agitation in care homes favours multi-component interventions by clinical staff, including considering if drugs might harm, and not drug interventions. Thus a major gap remains in knowledge about people living at home who comprise the majority of those with dementia. Psychotic symptoms in dementia People with dementia might be wrongly thought to have delusions when they misremember, and new psychotic symptoms are often due to delirium, thus thorough assessment of symptoms is essential. 2 Management of psychosis in dementia should start with non-pharmacological interventions; however, evidence for effectiveness of these interventions for psychosis in dementia is weaker than for agitation. 224 Antipsychotics for psychosis in dementia should be prescribed in as low a dose and for the shortest duration possible. 2 However, a Cochrane review of antipsychotics withdrawal found two trials with participants with dementia who had responded to antipsychotic treatment. These reported that stopping antipsychotics was associated with symptomatic relapse 225 suggesting the need for caution in any medication withdrawal in this group. There was low-quality evidence that, in general, discontinuation might make little or no difference to overall neuropsychiatric symptoms, adverse events, quality of life or cognitive function. 226 Apathy Apathy might be conceptualised as the opposite of engagement, comprising reduced interest, initiative, and activity. Like people without dementia, those with dementia engage more in preferred activities, but require additional support to do so. 227 A study in care homes observed engagement increased during activities in those who attended the groups. 228 A Cochrane review of the few people who had been in drug RCTs of methylphenidate versus placebo for apathy in dementia found small improvements on the apathy evaluation scale (MD −5·0, 95% CI −9·6 to−0·4, n=145, three studies, low-quality evidence) but not on the NPI apathy subscale (MD −0·1, 95% CI −3·9 to 3·7, n=85, two studies). 229 Sleep There is no evidence that medication for sleep in dementia is effective 230 and considerable evidence for harm—ie, earlier death, increased hospitalisation, and falls—exists.139, 144 Testing of non-pharmacological interventions is ongoing. 231 Carers Carer distress related to neuropsychiatric symptoms rather than the dementia symptoms was associated in one study with increased use and costs of health services, 232 highlighting the need for effectively identifying, educating, and supporting distressed carers. An RCT 233 reporting 6-year follow-up after the eight session STrAtegies for RelaTives intervention—manual-based coping intervention delivered by supervised psychology graduates—found continuing effectiveness for depressive symptoms in carers (adjusted MD −2·00; 95% CI −3·4 to −0·6) and risk of case-level depression, with patient-related cost being approximately 3 times lower than those who did not receive the intervention (median £5759 vs £16 964 in the final year; p=0·07). 233 Another US study 234 followed up 663 people, mean age 77 years, 55% women. Caregiver depression rather than symptoms of people with dementia predicted emergency department use for people with dementia, with a 73% (RR 1·73, 95% CI 1·3–2·3) increase. 234 Functioning A UK RCT of 14 sessions of cognitive rehabilitation focused on individual goal attainment with therapy delivered at home by an occupational therapist or nurse to 475 participants with mild-to-moderate dementia (MMSE ≥18 for inclusion; mean 24) and a family carer. 235 Individuals had two or three goals; the most common was engaging in activities (21% of goals). The intervention group reported increased goal attainment over 3 and 9 months compared with usual treatment (effect size 0·8, 95% CI 0·6–1·0 at both 3 and 9 months). 235 The treatment did not improve participants' quality of life, mood, self-efficacy, cognition, carer stress, or health status and was not cost-effective. A systematic review 236 of RCTs without meta-analysis for overall effect size, concluded that all interventions which had improved functioning in people living with dementia in the community have been individual rather than group interventions. These were: in-home physiotherapist delivered aerobic exercise (two studies, larger one positive, 140 people with Alzheimer's disease; smaller study negative, 30 people with Alzheimer's disease), individualised cognitive rehabilitation (mild or moderate dementia; two studies; 257 cognitive reserve intervention groups and 255 controls), and in-home activities-focused occupational therapy (people with mild to moderate dementia, three studies, 201 intervention, 191 controls) reduced functional decline compared to controls but group-exercise and reminiscence therapies were ineffective. 236 People with dementia have other illnesses Multimorbidity is a huge challenge in dementia, not only because people with dementia have increased rates of other illnesses, but also because they often find it particularly difficult to organise care. People with dementia might forget to tell their family or health professionals of symptoms, struggle to understand or follow agreed plans, and are more likely to forget to drink and eat, increasing falling and infection rates. 237 People with dementia consult primary care less often 238 and have fewer dental visits 239 than those without dementia and their family members, if involved, often feel they lack knowledge to assist. 240 Health-care professionals need education to be more comfortable, understanding, and positive in communicating with people with dementia. 241 Around 70–80% of people diagnosed with dementia in primary care have at least two other chronic illnesses.242, 243 People who are physically more frail are more likely to have dementia, but the relationship between pathology and symptoms in these people is comparatively weak suggesting that dementia might be from other causes. 22 Compared to the general older population, people with dementia have increased rates of cerebrovascular disease,243, 244, 245, 246 stroke, 247 Parkinson's disease,243, 245 diabetes,245, 247 skin ulcers, anxiety and depression,243, 245 pneumonia, incontinence, and electrolyte disturbance. 245 Multimorbidity in people with dementia is associated with faster functional decline 248 and worse quality of life for people with dementia and their family carers. 249 Dementia and COVID-19 Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, was first identified in patients with viral pneumonia in Hubei province, China. 250 Severity and mortality of the associated disease (COVID-19) worsen with increasing age 251 and with pre-existing illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes, 252 and thus many people with dementia are at particular risk. Death certificates from the UK indicate that dementia and Alzheimer's disease were the most common underlying conditions, specified in 11 950 deaths (25·6% of all deaths involving COVID-19) in March to May, 2020. 253 Many charities, practitioners, and academics supporting people with dementia have issued guidance based on current evidence and best practice, including advance consideration of whether people would wish to be hospitalised if they develop severe COVID-19. Concern has been expressed that the illness and consequent distancing might increase family carer stress, loneliness, neuropsychiatric symptoms and use of psychotropic medication, and lead to complications, including future dementia. Interventions delivered remotely through technology have also been implemented in some places.254, 255, 256, 257 People with dementia might struggle to adhere to measures to reduce virus transmission, as they might not understand or remember about required changes to behaviour, such as physical distancing and hygiene, leading to increased risk to themselves and their carers. 258 They might additionally be vulnerable if they depend on others for daily activities or personal care, as this necessitates close personal contact. This situation is particularly concerning in those care homes, where many residents have dementia and where many COVID-19 deaths have occurred in many countries259, 260, 261 with reports of more than half of residents being admitted to hospital. In US nursing homes, among 10 576 people with confirmed COVID-19, residents living with dementia made up 52% of COVID-19 cases; yet, accounted for 72% of all deaths (an increased risk of 1·7). 262 The number of people living together in care homes means that the infection of an individual, either staff or resident, could endanger more people than in traditional or family households. Although evidence exists that if staff are sufficiently and rigorously protected they are unlikely to develop COVID-19, many staff have become unwell and some have died.263, 264 Illness means that there are fewer people to care for residents at a time when they need particularly high levels of care. This situation is particularly relevant in the care of residents with dementia, if they are expected to remain in their own rooms, rather than eating and participating in activities with others. Staff or residents might also be moved between care homes and increase risk in other homes. 261 Restrictions on visitors to private homes, care homes, and hospitals might cause greater distress for people with dementia and they might not understand why people are wearing masks, recognise who is behind it, or understand speech when lips are covered. Lack of restrictions means that the visitors might also be at elevated risk. 261 The impacts of COVID-19 on people with dementia might be particularly severe in LMICs, due to smaller health budgets for testing and protective equipment, capacity of health-care systems, quality of care home provision and patterns of workforce mobility. 264 Thus, people with dementia are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because of their age, multimorbidity, and difficulties in maintaining physical distancing.250, 251, 252 We recommend rigorous public health measures of protective equipment and hygiene, including not moving staff or residents between care homes or admitting new residents when their COVID-19 status is unknown, should mitigate impacts on people with dementia. It is also imperative that there is frequent and regular testing of staff in care homes for infection, ensuring staff have sick pay so that they do not come in when symptomatic and interim care is being set up for people discharged from hospital so that only those who are COVID-19 free come to live in care homes. Resident testing should encompass asymptomatic as well as symptomatic people, when there is exposure within the home to COVID-19. In the future, many homes might be able to start to provide oxygen therapy so that those who do not want to be admitted to hospital are still able to access oxygen therapy. In addition, it is also important to reduce isolation by providing the necessary equipment and a brief training to relatives on how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19; so that they can visit their relatives with dementia in nursing homes safely when it is allowed. Further evidence is needed to inform responses to this and future public health emergencies. Hospital admissions Hospitalisation in people with dementia is associated with adverse, unintended consequences, including distress, functional and cognitive decline, and high economic costs.265, 266, 267 People with dementia have 1·4 to 4 times more hospital admissions than others with similar illnesses.266, 268, 269, 270 A systematic review and meta-analysis including 34 studies of 277 432 people with dementia found that in the six studies which compared the two groups, people with dementia had increased hospital admissions compared with those without dementia, after adjusting for age, sex, and physical comorbidity (RR 1·4, 95% CI 1·2–1·7; figure 9 ). 271 Hospitalisation rates in people with dementia ranged from 0·37 to 1·26 per person-year in high-quality studies. Admissions are often for conditions that might be manageable in the community (potentially preventable hospitalisations). 268 People with dementia experience longer and more frequent admissions and readmissions; health-care expenditure for people with moderate-severe dementia is around double that of people without dementia.269, 272, 273 Early detection and management of physical ill-health in people with dementia, particularly of pain, falls, diabetes, incontinence, and sensory impairment, is important.199, 274, 275 However, no intervention has successfully reduced number of hospital admissions of community-dwelling people with dementia, 276 although education, exercise, rehabilitation, and telemedicine have reduced admissions for older people without dementia. 277 Figure 9 Systematic review and meta-analysis of hospitalisation rates of people with dementia compared to those without dementia controlled for age and sex Reproduced from Shepherd et al, 271 by permission of Springer Nature. High-quality care for people with dementia takes longer than caring for others with the same condition. 278 Recognition of dementia in hospital inpatients is necessary for optimum care, 279 but dementia is often undetected or unrecorded. 280 In the UK however, detection rates have increased over the past 10 years. 281 Physical illness, delirium, and dementia Dementia and delirium frequently occur together. In one hospital inpatients' survey nearly 35% of those older than 80 years experienced delirium; those with prior cognitive impairment had 15 times the risk of developing delirium than those without (OR 15·3, 95% CI 5·2–45·4). 282 People with delirium without known dementia are more likely to be diagnosed with dementia in the future than others, either because of pre-existing undiagnosed dementia or cognitive impairment, present in 20·7% (95% CI 11·9–29·5) and 37·8% (27·3–88·3) respectively of one cohort, or because delirium has neurotoxic effects and so precipitates dementia. 283 People with similar neuropathology show faster cognitive decline if they develop delirium than if they do not. 284 Additionally, older people without dementia declined cognitively more than twice as fast after an emergency hospital admission for any cause, compared with those not admitted, suggesting any severe illness is associated with cognitive decline. 285 Risk factors for delirium in dementia include sensory impairment, pain, polypharmacy, dehydration, intercurrent illnesses, such as urinary tract infections or faecal impaction, and an unfamiliar or changing environment. 286 Delirium in older people should prompt consideration of underlying dementia. Most research on delirium prevention has been in people without dementia. It suggests targeting hydration, stopping medication predisposing to delirium, monitoring the depth of anaesthesia, and sleep promotion. However, no evidence for medication efficacy, including cholinesterase inhibitors, antipsychotic medication, or melatonin exists.287, 288, 289 The Hospital Elder Life Program 290 —an intervention to prevent delirium in those admitted to hospital—reduces delirium incidence and includes people who are cognitively impaired. This multidisciplinary treatment consists of daily visits, orientation, therapeutic activities, sleep enhancement, early mobilisation, vision and hearing adaptation, fluid repletion, infection prevention and management of constipation, pain, and hypoxia, and feeding assistance. 290 A network meta-analysis of drugs for prevention and treatment of delirium did not include studies of people with dementia, thus we cannot use this to recommend drugs for people with dementia and delirium as this research might be inapplicable to them. 291 Little high-quality research exists on managing delirium in dementia. One RCT compared care at a specialist medical and mental health unit to usual care for 600 confused people older than 65 years, acutely admitted to hospital and found no difference in the primary outcome of days spent at home or in hospital, but increased family satisfaction. 292 A further RCT of cognitively stimulating activities for people with delirium in dementia did not improve the delirium. 293 No definitive evidence that any medication improves delirium in people with dementia exists: cholinesterase inhibitors, antipsychotics, and sedating benzodiazepines are ineffective and antipsychotics and benzodiazepines are associated with mortality and morbidity.265, 288, 294, 295, 296, 297 Given the risk of dementia in people who develop delirium, its prevention, and possibly advances in its management, might offer a means for dementia prevention. 298 Link between very old age, frailty, and dementia The fastest growing demographic group in most advanced countries are people aged 90 years and older. One well characterised post-mortem cohort of the oldest old (n=1079; mean age 90 years) dying with dementia, found that neuropathological features of Alzheimer's disease account for about half of the cognitive decline seen as people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease had mixed causes of dementia. 299 Although Alzheimer's disease neuropathology was the commonest cause of dementia, Alzheimer's disease changes rarely occurred on their own, so only 9% of people with dementia had pure Alzheimer's disease pathology. 300 People who have Alzheimer's disease pathology without developing dementia tend to have fewer age-related health deficits than those who develop it with even low concentrations of plaques and tangles. 301 A moderation analysis showed that the relationship between Alzheimer's disease pathology and dementia status differed according to level of frailty (adjusted for age, sex, and education) with increasing frailty weakening the relationship between Alzheimer's disease pathology and dementia (figure 10 ). 22 As with delirium, some of this additional health risk might be modifiable. This approach suggests a new type of therapy focus on specific age-related processes that underpin many diseases of late life might reduce the incidence or severity of dementia. Figure 10 Moderation analyses of the relationship between Alzheimer's disease pathology and clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's dementia (adjusted for age, sex, and education) As frailty increased, the odds of a neuropathological diagnosis of Alzheimer disease corresponding to a clinical diagnosis decreased. Reproduced from Wallece et al, 22 by permission of Elsevier. End-of-life care in dementia The numbers of people dying with dementia are increasing but the evidence for the best end-of-life care is scarce. Trends in age-standardised death rates (3·6%) for dementia increased slightly between 1990–2016, with pronounced increases in the USA and Japan and decreases in western Europe and central Latin America. 4 Dementia is more readily being included on death certificates, which accounts for some of the rise. The increase might be related to dementia manifesting at later ages, with higher physical frailty 22 leading to a faster decline. Most people with dementia might die while still in the mild-to-moderate stages whereas only about a quarter of those dying with dementia have severe dementia.302, 303 The trajectory of dementia is often unpredictable 304 and palliative care initiation should reflect need not prognosis. Decision making about end of life is complex and simple rules of thumb, co-designed with staff and carers, provided clarity in some small studies. 304 One RCT testing decision-aids about families' and doctors' goals of care for people with advanced dementia led to increased palliative care content in care plans.305, 306 In a 9-month UK prospective study, 85 care home residents with advanced dementia from 14 homes were likely to be living with distressing symptoms, specifically agitation (54%) or pain (61% on movement). 304 Capacity to make abstract decisions, including about the future, might be lost early in dementia. 307 Therefore, advance care planning, designed to empower people with dementia and improve quality of dying, might theoretically be something everyone should do before developing dementia. 308 However, people might not be able to predict their future wishes. This might explain why family carer proxies show only low-to-moderate agreement with stated end-of-life treatment preferences of people with dementia. 309 Advance care planning might, however, reduce carers' uncertainty in decision making and improve perceptions of quality of care. 310 Partners of people dying with dementia experience poorer mental health than those facing bereavement from other causes 311 possibly because of long and difficult caring responsibilities. This might be ameliorated through sensitive and timely information, particularly regarding the progression of dementia, 312 individually or through family and staff case-conferencing.313, 314 Conclusions Knowledge about risk factors and potential prevention, detection, and diagnosis of dementia is improving although significant gaps remain. 315 In this Commission report, we have specified policy and individual changes to delay the onset of cognitive impairment and dementia and better ways to support and treat people with dementia and their families and to improve their quality of life. Interventions, including organisation of the complex physical illness and social needs, to support people affected by dementia can have a huge effect when taken as a whole. Our ambition is for worldwide provision of resources for an adequate level of wellbeing to people with dementia and their carers with a better evidence base to guide individual care and policy making alike. With good quality care, people can live well with dementia and families can feel supported.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin.

            Type 2 diabetes affects approximately 8 percent of adults in the United States. Some risk factors--elevated plasma glucose concentrations in the fasting state and after an oral glucose load, overweight, and a sedentary lifestyle--are potentially reversible. We hypothesized that modifying these factors with a lifestyle-intervention program or the administration of metformin would prevent or delay the development of diabetes. We randomly assigned 3234 nondiabetic persons with elevated fasting and post-load plasma glucose concentrations to placebo, metformin (850 mg twice daily), or a lifestyle-modification program with the goals of at least a 7 percent weight loss and at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. The mean age of the participants was 51 years, and the mean body-mass index (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) was 34.0; 68 percent were women, and 45 percent were members of minority groups. The average follow-up was 2.8 years. The incidence of diabetes was 11.0, 7.8, and 4.8 cases per 100 person-years in the placebo, metformin, and lifestyle groups, respectively. The lifestyle intervention reduced the incidence by 58 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 48 to 66 percent) and metformin by 31 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 17 to 43 percent), as compared with placebo; the lifestyle intervention was significantly more effective than metformin. To prevent one case of diabetes during a period of three years, 6.9 persons would have to participate in the lifestyle-intervention program, and 13.9 would have to receive metformin. Lifestyle changes and treatment with metformin both reduced the incidence of diabetes in persons at high risk. The lifestyle intervention was more effective than metformin.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Ageing as a risk factor for neurodegenerative disease

              Ageing is the primary risk factor for most neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease (AD) and Parkinson disease (PD). One in ten individuals aged ≥65 years has AD and its prevalence continues to increase with increasing age. Few or no effective treatments are available for ageing-related neurodegenerative diseases, which tend to progress in an irreversible manner and are associated with large socioeconomic and personal costs. This Review discusses the pathogenesis of AD, PD and other neurodegenerative diseases, and describes their associations with the nine biological hallmarks of ageing: genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, deregulated nutrient sensing, stem cell exhaustion and altered intercellular communication. The central biological mechanisms of ageing and their potential as targets of novel therapies for neurodegenerative diseases are also discussed, with potential therapies including NAD+ precursors, mitophagy inducers and inhibitors of cellular senescence.

                Author and article information

                Alzheimers Res Ther
                Alzheimers Res Ther
                Alzheimer's Research & Therapy
                BioMed Central (London )
                31 January 2024
                31 January 2024
                : 16
                : 23
                [1 ]Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, ( https://ror.org/00cyydd11) Yliopistonranta 1C, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
                [2 ]GRID grid.7445.2, ISNI 0000 0001 2113 8111, The Ageing Epidemiology Research Unit, School of Public Health, , Imperial College London, Charing Cross Hospital, St Dunstan’s Road, ; LondonLondon, W6 8RP UK
                [3 ]Population Health Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, ( https://ror.org/03tf0c761) Mannerheimintie 166, P.O. Box 30, Helsinki, Finland
                [4 ]FINGERS Brain Health Institute, C/O Stockholms Sjukhem, Box 122 30, SE-102 26 Stockholm, Sweden
                [5 ]Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Center for Alzheimer Research, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, ( https://ror.org/056d84691) Karolinska Vägen 37A, 171 64 Solna, Sweden
                [6 ]Theme Inflammation and Aging, Medical Unit Aging, Karolinska University Hospital, ( https://ror.org/00m8d6786) Karolinska Vägen 37A, 171 76 Solna, Sweden
                [7 ]Imperial Clinical Trials Unit, School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Imperial College London, ( https://ror.org/041kmwe10) Stadium House, 68 Wood Lane, London, W12 7RH UK
                [8 ]Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, ( https://ror.org/01esghr10) 622 W 168Th St, New York, NY USA
                [9 ]Department of Psychology, Umeå University, ( https://ror.org/05kb8h459) 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
                [10 ]Department of Social and Psychological Studies, Karlstad University, ( https://ror.org/05s754026) 651 88 Karlstad, Sweden
                [11 ]Department of Health, Education and Technology, Luleå University of Technology, ( https://ror.org/016st3p78) 971 87, Luleå, Sweden
                [12 ]Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, ( https://ror.org/040af2s02) PO BOX 20, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
                [13 ]Diabetes Research Group, King Abdulaziz University, ( https://ror.org/02ma4wv74) 21589 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
                [14 ]GRID grid.7445.2, ISNI 0000 0001 2113 8111, Directorate of Public Health, , Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust Hospitals, ; Praed Street, London, W2 1NY UK
                [15 ]Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, ( https://ror.org/00cyydd11) Yliopistonranta 1C, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
                © The Author(s) 2023

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                : 12 July 2023
                : 17 November 2023
                Funded by: Karolinska Institute
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