認知症対策 生活習慣の改善も予防になる

The Yomiuri Shimbun January 17, 2014
Govt must promote healthy lifestyle from young age to ward off dementia
認知症対策 生活習慣の改善も予防になる(1月17日付・読売社説)

The number of elderly Japanese people suffering from dementia is increasing much faster than predicted. The government must devise measures to prevent and treat the condition as quickly as possible.
 認知症の高齢者が、従来の予測を大幅に上回るペースで増えている。予防や診療の体制整備を急がねばならない。

According to an estimate by a research team of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, the number of elderly people diagnosed with dementia has reached 4.62 million. Research results by Kyushu University indicate the number is six times the level 20 years ago.
 厚生労働省研究班の推計によると、認知症の高齢者は462万人に達する。過去20年間で6倍に増えたという九州大の研究結果もある。

It must be noted that an increase in people suffering from diabetes, along with the quickly aging population, has boosted the number of dementia patients.
 急速な高齢化に加え、糖尿病の増加が認知症の患者数を押し上げている事実は見逃せない。

Domestic and overseas research has found that diabetics are about twice as likely as those without diabetes to develop Alzheimer’s-type dementia.
 国内外の調査で、糖尿病を患う人は、アルツハイマー型認知症の発症リスクが2倍前後に高まることが分かってきた。

Alzheimer’s-type dementia develops as a result of the accumulation of abnormal protein in the brain. People are more likely to develop this type of dementia if they become diabetic and a large amount of insulin is produced in their bodies, because insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels, also interrupts the dissolution of the protein and thus promotes its accumulation.
 アルツハイマー型認知症は、脳内に異常なたんぱく質がたまって発症する。糖尿病になり、血糖値を下げるインスリンが多量に分泌されると、このたんぱく質が分解されにくくなって蓄積し、認知症が起きやすくなるという。

Major causes for diabetes are overeating and obesity resulting from insufficient exercise. According to some data, people who pay attention to their lifestyles by exercising regularly and eating Japanese and other healthy foods are less likely to develop diabetes or dementia.
 糖尿病は、食べ過ぎや運動不足による肥満が主な原因だ。運動や和食を中心とした食事で生活習慣に気を配っている人は、糖尿病ばかりでなく、認知症の発症リスクが低いとのデータがある。

The health ministry should publicize such information, which could help people prevent these health problems by paying attention to their lifestyles from a young age.
 厚労省は、こうした情報を周知すべきだ。若い頃から生活習慣に注意して予防につなげたい。

As many as 4 million people are said to suffer from “mild cognitive impairment,” believed to be a stage before dementia. Symptoms include impaired memory and judgment. If treated at an early stage, however, it can likely be prevented from progressing to dementia, doctors say. We hope measures to prevent the condition will be established as soon as possible.
 認知症の前段階とされる「軽度認知障害」も400万人に上る。記憶力や判断力の低下といった症状が表れる。早く対処すれば、認知症への進行を抑えられる可能性があるという。予防法の早期確立が期待される。

Dementia could be controlled

It is still important to diagnose dementia as early as possible, even if a patient has already developed symptoms. If treated properly, dementia patients could recover in cases where the formation of a hematoma in the brain due to a blow to the head caused it, for instance.
 認知症になった場合でも、早期発見は重要である。頭部を強打したことで血腫が脳内にできた場合など、治療により回復可能なケースがあるからだ。

However, the conditions of many patients deteriorate if left undiagnosed. It is necessary to develop a system that can render an accurate diagnosis by increasing expert-staffed outpatient “forgetful” clinics around the country.
 だが、診断がつかないまま、症状が悪化する患者は少なくない。専門医による「物忘れ外来」を普及させるなど、正確に診断できる態勢作りが必要だ。

If diagnosed early, it might be possible for people with dementia to continue their family life and jobs longer with the understanding and cooperation of their families and people around them.
 早期に診断がつけば、医師の指導のもと、家族や周囲の理解と協力で、より長く家庭生活や仕事を続けることも可能だろう。

Developing measures to deal with dementia is a common concern among advanced countries, whose populations are aging quickly.
 認知症対策は、高齢化が進む先進国共通の課題となっている。

Japan, the United States and six other advanced countries held the first G-8 Dementia Summit last month in London. They agreed to drastically increase research funds for dementia and share research data with the aim of establishing treatment methods by 2025.
 日米など主要8か国は先月、ロンドンで初の「G8認知症サミット」を開いた。2025年までの治療法確立を目指し、研究費の大幅な増額や研究データの共有を図ることで合意した。

International cooperation is essential to study dementia, which still has many unexplained elements. We think Japan, whose population is aging the fastest in the world, should lead the research. The government should play a leading role and mobilize all Japanese researchers in this field to tackle the issue.
 未解明な部分が多い認知症の研究に、国際協力は欠かせない。世界で最も速く高齢化する日本が主導すべきだ。政府が先頭に立ち、研究陣の総力を結集して臨んでもらいたい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Jan. 17, 2014)
(2014年1月17日01時24分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2014-01-19 08:35 | 英字新聞

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