GENEVA, May 14 (Reuters) – The World Health Organization released its first recommendations on the avoidance and management of dementia on Tuesday, putting physical activity at the summit of its list of strategies for preventing cognitive decline.

Stopping smoking, a nutritious diet and avoiding harmful use of alcohol were also among the recommendations of the WHO’s report, entitled”Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia.”

Neerja Chowdhary, a WHO expert, said that the study hadn’t looked over smoking marijuana and did not include environmental factors, although there was some evidence of a connection with pollution, and there was too little evidence of a connection with bad sleep to add it at the recommendations.

But there was evidence that social or training process would stave off the onset of dementia, also evidence that antidepressant drugs or hearing aids can help.

Dementia affects approximately 50 million people globally, with nearly 10 million new cases annually — a figure that’s set to triple by 2050, while the expense of caring for dementia patients is forecast to hit $2 billion by 2030, WHO Assistant Director General Ren Minghui composed at the report.

“While there is no curative therapy for dementia, the proactive control of modifiable risk factors could delay or slow onset or progression of this disease,” Ren wrote.

“As several of the risk factors for dementia are shared with people of non-communicable diseases, the key recommendations can be effectively integrated into apps for smoking cessation, cardiovascular disease hazard reduction and nourishment”

The analysis stated that although age may be the strongest known risk factor for cognitive decline, dementia isn’t a result of aging.

“During the previous 2 decades, several studies have demonstrated that a connection between the development of cognitive impairment and dementia together with educational attainment, along with lifestyle-related hazard elements, such as physical inactivity, tobacco use, unhealthy diets and harmful use of alcohol, and” it also said.

Maria C. Carrillo, chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Association at the USA, said there was substantial evidence that there were things people might do in order to lower the risks.

Carol Routledge, director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said dementia has been the leading cause of death in Britain, however, just 34 percent of adults realized they might lower the risk, and the WHO report helped to clarify exactly what was understood and where evidence has been lacking.