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Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing

ESPM is dedicated to promoting a systems-based approach to psychological wellbeing, with a focus on preserving cognitive health and preventing the onset of dementia.

A systems-based approach to psychological wellbeing

In an era where the ageing population is on the rise, the significance of preserving cognitive function for a fulfilling and vibrant life cannot be understated. However, cognitive decline has become a prevailing concern, imparting substantial challenges on the healthcare landscape. To address this burgeoning issue, a transformative shift in our approach to dementia is imperative.

It’s time to depart from the mere management of symptomatic manifestations post-occurrence towards the proactive endeavour of pre-emptive condition prevention. Employing a P4 Medicinal approach, this visionary redirection holds the potential not only to ameliorate the heavy emotional and financial burden associated with this condition but also to usher in an era of renewed cognitive vitality and wellbeing.

Dementia is a broad term used to describe a decline in cognitive function severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for a significant portion of cases. It’s a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behaviour.

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Given the absence of curative treatments at present and the influence of age as the primary risk factor-something beyond our control-embracing practices that foster brain health becomes pivotal. These practices not only offer neuroprotection but also may substantially mitigate the risk of dementia development.

Whilst Alzheimer’s disease is a highly complex condition, leading a healthy lifestyle is one of the most powerful ways to promote brain health and prevent dementia, as well as other chronic conditions such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease that often clinically present with it.

Gaining increasing recognition for their therapeutic potential in dementia prevention are nutrient-rich diets such as the Mediterranean, MIND, and DASH diets, alongside emerging strategies like ketogenic and intermittent fasting.

As the majority of lifestyle medicine happens outside the clinic, the empowerment of patients with knowledge and strategies to take responsibility for their brain health is of critical importance. This underscores the “participatory” element of the P4 health spectrum, which involves bringing patients into discussions and motivating them to play an active role in their health management-typically resulting in improved health outcomes.

Utilising personalised diagnostics to identify those at risk, along with tailoring lifestyle prevention plans to each individual, holds the potential to optimise intervention outcomes by prioritising in on targeted and attainable strategies.

The ESPM is on a mission to transform how we approach dementia. By transcending traditional paradigms and championing a future where prevention takes precedence, the society envisions a world where cognitive decline is met with resilience and resolve.

References

Sagner et al 2017 Nature