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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764

Dement. neuropsychol. vol.5 no.1 São Paulo Jan./Mar. 2011

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1980-57642011DN05010002 

Views & reviews

Path dependence in social and psychological risk factors for dementia

Dependência da trajetória nos fatores de risco social e psicológico da demência

Hiroko Matsuoka 1  

Hidehiko Yamaguchi 2  

1MA, School of Nursing & Health, Aichi Prefectural University, Nagoya, Japan.

2MA, Volunteer Group "Transpacífico", Mexico City, Mexico.

Abstract

This article focuses on social and psychological risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and cognitive impairment and presents some key points for prevention in developing countries based on previous studies, a social science theory, and our preliminary survey. Previous population-based studies found that educational and occupational attainment, income, participation in social and mental activities, and psychological distress were associated with dementia risk. According to the theory of path dependence, earlier factors largely determine successive ones, where education is one of these early experiences in life. Our preliminary survey suggested that education sets a path that several psychosocial risk factors are dependent on. The expansion of basic education is indispensable. Resources for prevention should be concentrated on individuals with a low level of education. In order to break from a path creating self-reinforcement of risk factors, it is necessary to implement early and active interventions.

Key words: Alzheimer's disease; dementia; risk factors; prevention; developing countries

Resumo

Este artigo foca nos fatores de risco social e psicológico para doença de Alzheimer, demência e comprometimento cognitivo e apresenta alguns pontos chave para prevenção em países em desenvolvimento baseado em estudos prévios, uma teoria da ciência social e nossa pesquisa preliminar. Estudos populacionais prévios encontraram que educação, ocupação, ganhos, participação em atividades mentais e sociais, e estresse psicológico associaram-se com o risco. De acordo com a teoria da dependência da trajetória, fatores precoces determinam os fatores sucessivos e nós podemos afirmar que educação é uma das experiências mais precoces na vida. Nossa pesquisa preliminar sugere que a educação determina uma via em que vários fatores de risco psicossociais são dependentes. A ampliação da educação básica é indispensável. Fontes para prevenção devem ser concentradas nos indivíduos com baixo nível educacional. A fim de desviar da via que cria um auto-reforço de fatores de risco, é necessário implementar intervenções precoces e ativas.

Palavras-chave: doença de Alzheimer; demência; fatores de risco; prevenção; países em desenvolvimento

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text available only in PDF format.

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Received: December 15, 2010; Accepted: February 17, 2011

Hiroko Matsuoka - School of Nursing & Health, Aichi Prefectural University, Togoku, Kamishidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi, 463-8502, Japan. E-mail address: matsuoka@nrs.aichi-pu.ac.jp; hirokom@sakura.plala.or.jp

Disclosure: The authors report no conflits of interest

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