New cases of dementia in the UK fall by 20% over two decades

The MRC Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (CFAS) is a major Cambridge-based population study led by Professor Carol Brayne (DFEOL Theme Lead, CLAHRC EoE) involving collaboration with our local populations, localities and primary care health systems.

New evidence from the study as been published in Nature Communications, which shows that dementia incidence across two decades has dropped by 20%, driven by a reduction in incidence among men at all ages. Diagnostic methods and criteria are identifying more people as having dementia, but measures such as education, health promotions like smoking reduction and attention to diet and exercise may be driving a reduction in risk in some countries.

(This study was part funded by CLAHRC EoE, and conducted in collaboration with the the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre infrastructures at Cambridge and Newcastle upon Tyne).

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Attitudes to death among the very old

Dr Jane Fleming  (Senior Research Associate, CLAHRC EoE) and Dr Morag Farquhar (Senior Research Associate, University of Cambridge) have led a study of attitudes to death and dying amongst the very old. Recently published in  PLOS ONE, they found that this group is willing to discuss dying and their end-of-life care, but are seldom asked.

By giving a voice to this population, it was discovered that most of those asked were not afraid of dying, either reporting that it did not worry them, or not having expressed any worries or fears about it to those around them. Many said they were “taking each day as it comes”, and shared a thankfulness for where they were in life.

(This study is a member study of the CLAHRC EoE Dementia Frailty and End of Life Care Theme)

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