Our very own Dr. DenBoer recently visited China representing SMART Brain Aging. Here is his story from his epic trip!
As some of you know, I recently was on a trip to China on behalf of SMART Brain Aging. The purpose of this email is to recap the trip and provide a vision of how SBA can impact aging individuals across the globe (with a specific emphasis on China).
China’s population dynamics, particularly as they relate to aging and dementia, are staggering.
Home to some 1.4 Billion people, there are four major cities that are in the world’s top 10 in terms of population (including Beijing and Shanghai, which are almost 25 million each!).
Given their 1 child only policy, China’s population is very “top-heavy,” with the majority above 50 and many above 65. As longevity of life significantly improves for aging Chinese, many more are developing dementia. These rates are increased by increased heart health problems, including pollution and smoking.
I found through the many people I talked to that dementia, translated “chidai”
Is viewed as a “family disease” and dealt with within the family, certainly behind closed doors. The treatment that many viewed as possible includes only Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which, while beneficial, has not shown research efficacy. Despite the country’s impressive technological advances, they are far behind in terms of dementia care and treatment. See below for a pic of a “nursing home” I visited:
On the bright side, the socialized system of governance allows the Chinese government to mandate certain health care checks and behaviors among the citizens. This may allow an opportunity to gain mandated cognitive wellness checks and allow individuals to strongly motivate individuals who show early signs of dementia or who are at risk to engage in cognitive exercise for dementia mitigation.
Coupled with the general fondness for technological adoption and brain games, this creates a massive opportunity for Brain U Online.
We will be working with a local colleague who is forming a healthcare delegation to Shanghai and presenting Brain U Online for consideration for the Chinese Ministry of Health. This presents a tremendous opportunity to help millions.
It is my pleasure to update you re: the status of this opportunity, and to thank you for your continued wonderful efforts in this area.