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Published on: August 8, 2015
by Toronto Sun:
We’re developing dementia a decade earlier in life than people did just 20 years ago thanks to our modern living, and it’s led to a “hidden epidemic,” according to massive study published this week.
Researchers compared rates of neurological diseases in 21 Western countries between 1989 and 2010. The research was published in the journal Surgical Neurology International.
The growing dementia rates and death counts are particularly acute in the United States, where neurological deaths in men over 75 years old have nearly tripled, and five times as many women in the same age group have dementia today compared to rates in 1989.
“The rate of increase in such a short time suggests a silent or even a ‘hidden’ epidemic, in which environmental factors must play a major part, not just aging,” professor Colin Pritchard of Bournemouth University, the lead researcher, said in a release.
“Modern living produces multi-interactional environmental pollution but the changes in human morbidity, including neurological disease is remarkable and points to environmental influences.”
He pointed out that newly formed dementia support groups for clients in their late 40s and early 50s would have been “unthinkable 20 years ago.”
The researchers didn’t pinpoint a specific cause — naming off a variety of contributors such as more cars on the road, insecticides, a rise in electro-magnetic fields, among other things.
“These results will not be welcome news as there are many with short-term vested interests that will want to ignore them. It is not that we want to stop the modern world but rather make it safer,” said Pritchard.
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