Reader Mail

Dementia problem affects all of us

I agree with the May 26 editorial that “addressing dementia prevention” is a pressing matter. There are two reasons.

First and foremost, there is yet no established cure, as the editorial says. What’s worse, preventive measures such as adequate physical exercise, social interaction and a healthy diet lack solid scientific evidence that they are effective. What should we do? Now that I have just turned 60, I feel threatened by the status quo. Furthermore, the current and future figures of dementia patients scare me a lot. Hopefully, developing effective drugs for dementia and concrete prevention will be the priority in this country of longevity. The government should take more responsibility.

Family members or friends could develop dementia. What should we do for them? In fact, one of my neighbors has been diagnosed as having early stage dementia. She told me about it hesitantly, because dementia was considered a shameful disease. Indeed, even just talking in public about dementia and other brain disorders has long been avoided. However, this ailment is becoming more common, like cancer, so we should understand it correctly, throwing away any prejudice or discrimination against the patients. Rather, we should protect their rights.

We should all keep in mind that anyone can develop dementia. Therefore, we should all want an adequate cure.

MIEKO OKABE
YOKOHAMA

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.