By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) — Many middle-aged adults worry they will develop dementia but are turning to unproven strategies to reduce their risk. Looking at survey data on more than 1,000 middle-aged men and women, researchers at the University of Michigan found that nearly half believe they were at least somewhat likely to develop dementia.

More than a third believed that taking supplements like fish oil and vitamin E could help prevent dementia, despite the fact that the latest research does not support those claims.

Only 5 percent had discussed ways to prevent dementia, like controlling high blood pressure or diabetes and maintaining a cognitively stimulating life, with their doctors.

Of note, African Americans are twice as likely to develop dementia as whites, yet they perceived their risk to be lower than other groups.

About 10 percent of Americans over 65 have dementia and about a third of people 85 and older.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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