Social contacts and activities – a good ‘social health’ – are important for people with dementia to slow the progression of the disease. But social health may also play a role in dementia development: there are even indications that a bad social health can increase the chance of developing dementia. How this may work, is as of yet unknown.
In this project we will explore this question using brain scans of elderly individuals as well as new smartphone technology which monitors societal participation and social health. We hope to better understand the relationship between social health and dementia development, with the aim to improve early detection of the disease.
In the future, the development of dementia may be delayed by lifestyle interventions to improve the social health, reducing the burden of dementia on society.