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Child Brain Health and Dementia

In 2021 the DSDT is going to have a focus on child brain health and dementia.

There is anecdotal evidence of a causal link between the combination of deprivation in early life or any other adverse childhood experiences such as bereavement, and the development of dementia in later life. There have been recent academic studies in Japan,1 Spain,2 and Finland3 of the links between childhood experiences and dementia, but child brain health and physical welfare is not a priority within the Westminster or Holyrood 2017-2020 Dementia Strategies. We believe that a well written and publicised review of research about the causal links would be persuasive in demonstrating the need for child health and social care policies as an important part of dementia prevention. It may encourage further research that could establish if the economic cost of investment in child brain health, particularly for children would outweigh the economic cost of dementia care in later life.

If you have an interest in this area and would like to join the discussion, please get in touch through our contact form, as the Trustees are setting a date for a discussion seminar which will probably be on line, but hopefully will lead to face to face meetings in the course of the year.


  1. NewsRx. Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) Detail Findings in Dementia (Association Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Dementia in Older Japanese Adults). Mental Health Weekly Digest. February 24, 2020; p 464. “…the associations between dementia and adverse childhood experiences other than poverty and education have not been well documented.”
  2. Conde-Sala, Josep L & Garre-Olmo, Josep, 2020. Early parental death and psychosocial risk factors for dementia: A case–control study in Europe. International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 35(9), pp.1051–1059. “In the multivariate logistic regression analysis carried out with the whole sample, early parental death increased the risk of dementia (OR = 1.50, 95%CI 1.31-1.72), along with [among other things] ……. low income (OR = 1.49, 95%CI 1.34-1.67).”
  3. Donley, Gwendolyn A R et al., 2018. Association of childhood stress with late-life dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: the KIHD study. European journal of public health, 28(6), pp.1069– 1073. “Childhood stress plays an important role in late-life dementia risk among men. Support systems should be developed for children suffering from stressful conditions.”