Optimizing the aging Brain? Situating Ethical Aspects of Dementia Prevention (BEAD)

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Dementia - Risk Factors

Dementia (the most common form is Alzheimer’s disease) has for a long time been conceived of as an unpreventable process of mental deterioration. Since the Lancet Report in 2020, however, researchers claim that 40% dementia cases could be prevented if at least twelve risk factors are managed.

Project description

These risk factors include some that have not been traditionally linked to Alzheimer’s, such as lower education, diabetes, hypertension, social isolation, and hearing loss, and which require management over the life course, making prevention a lifelong endeavour. Early detection through biomarkers and digital tracking technologies have also become a central feature of what we call ‘the new dementia’. This raises a number of ethical questions, such as: should individuals be considered personally responsible for their own dementia prevention? Should we accept extensive monitoring of our cognitive functions through digital technologies? What does dementia prevention entail for our healthcare systems and cultures of care? And, do national, local or international contexts play a role in how prevention is articulated and lived?


Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz
Prof. Dr. Silke Schicktanz