Prevention of cognitive decline in old age—varying effects of interventions in different populations

Chengxuan Qiu, Gunilla Johansson, Feiqi Zhu, Miia Kivipelto, Bengt Winblad


Along with global population aging, dementia has posed tremendous challenges to the sustainable development of worldwide economy and society. In the past 3–4 decades, global extensive efforts have been made to develop new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. However, effective curative treatments or even disease-modifying therapies are still not available for the devastating neurodegenerative disease (1). In the recent randomized clinical trial, Rovner and colleagues showed evidence that behavioural activation might prevent cognitive and functional decline among older black individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (2). In this commentary and mini-review, we highlighted the global burden of dementia and briefly summarized the evidence supporting the potential of non-pharmacological interventions to reduce the risk of cognitive disorders in old age, while a special attention was given to ethnic or racial variations.