Article of the month – May 2019

WHO guidelines on Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia

Two years after The Lancet commission on dementia published their report and advised everybody to “be ambitious about prevention”, the World Health Organisation published guidelines on risk reduction for cognitive decline and dementia.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus summarized the key message: “We need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia. The scientific evidence gathered for these Guidelines confirm what we have suspected for some time, that what is good for our heart, is also good for our brain.”

The WHO guidelines provide an overview of much of the existing research on 12 risk or protective lifestyle (e.g. physical activity, social activity, …) and health (e.g. hypertension) factors that can be influenced to reduce the risk on dementia.

Interdem-member Sebastian Koehler (University of Maastricht) collaborated on these WHO guidelines as member of the external review group.

The full document can be found in different languages at