According to Professor John Growdon, a leading authority on dementia and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, growing old is the single most important risk factor for developing cognitive impairments such as dementia. As such, rather than focusing on finding a cure, we should also focus on delaying the onset of these afflictions.
The Professor was talking at a recent lunchtime seminar hosted by the National University of Singapore (NUS) as part of the NUS Greater Good Series. Prof Growdon shared the stage with another leading authority on dementia, Professor Kua Ee Heok from the NUS Department of Pschological Medicine. Both Professors discussed dementia from the perspectives of Singapore and the US.
Prof Growdon shared his “prescription for growing old with an intact memory”. He advises not growing old; choosing your parents well; leading a healthy lifestyle and addressing problems such as high blood pressure and cholesterol; having a good education when young; and doing physical exercise. He also stressed the importance of avoiding injuries to the head and strokes. The Professor also pointed out that alcohol, when consumed in moderation, helps to ward off dementia.
Prof Kua explained that much has been done in Singapore in recent years to improve the livelihoods of the elderly and help ward off the onset of diseases such as dementia. These include responding to the fact that Singapore had the second highest suicide rate among the elderly by setting up support groups and counselling phone lines.
The NUS Greater Good Series features talks by leading minds on topics related to philanthropy. These include generosity, giving and service to the community, as well as leadership, personal well-being and mental resilience. The Series aims to raise awareness of philanthropy and its impact on society. The Series was made possible thanks to a generous gift from Newsman Realty Pte Ltd. For further information on the NUS Greater Good Series, contact Jeanne Ng on Jeanne.firstname.lastname@example.org.