How we rate evidence

Safety when used as directed

When the therapy is used as recommended by medical professionals for a long period of time, what is known about the side effects and risks independent of brain health? Does the therapy raise the risk of depression? Or cancer? What happens when the therapy is taken for many years, which is most likely required for any effective prevention therapy?

The accuracy of the ratings may vary depending on the source of the compound, the health and age of the individual, and the use of other medications that may interact with natural products or drugs. The safest choice is to inform your doctor about all the supplements, natural products, and drugs that you may be taking.

Very likely safe
No serious side effects based on strong scientific evidence or prevalent use with no known concerns
Probably safe
Side effects are unusual or mild based on strong evidence or the available evidence for long-term use is moderate but does not indicate serious side effects
Some risks
Substantial side effects or health risks are known to occur or the available evidence for long-term use is limited but does not indicate serious side effects
Definite risks
Serious side-effects or risks are known
The compound has not been used in humans and thus no safety information is available

Potential to prevent dementia

What is the evidence that the potential therapy prevents dementia?

A protective benefit has been reported with consistent evidence of at least moderate strength
Some scientific research suggests benefit but the effect is small, the mechanism is unknown, or the evidence is limited
Some scientific evidence suggests benefit while others suggest harm
The strongest forms of available scientific evidence do not suggest a protective effect
No quality evidence is available to indicate either a beneficial or harmful effect

Strength of the evidence

How strong is the evidence for dementia prevention and safety?  The initial rating of evidence strength comes from the types of available research. However, the rating is increased or decreased based on consistency and replication of results from different investigators, the potential for bias, the size and duration of the study, and other variables.

Evidence from at least one appropriately-designed randomized trial or from a meta-analysis of observational studies combined with experimental research in test tubes or animal models
Evidence from several observational studies and/or from a randomized trial that is supported by experimental research in test tubes or animal models
At least some evidence from quality human research, whether observational or experimental, that is supported by experimental research in test tubes or animal models
Very Limited
The available evidence is only from test tubes or animal models
No evidence
There is currently no evidence from animal models or mammalian cells
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