A promising study was released November, 21st by the Journal of the American Medical Association – Internal Medicine. It shows a decline in the incidents of Alzheimer’s Dementia among seniors. The study shows a decrease in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in those 65 and older. Between 2000 and 2012, incidents decreased from 11.6% to 8.8%.
The study estimates the decline is related to a decrease in “age-specific” risk factors in higher income countries due to education level. The average education level of Americans has increased over the last 25 years leading some attribute higher education to the reduction in numbers.
There is more good news…
It has long been suspected that poor Cardiovascular health is a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. But as Americans are being treated for Obesity, Diabetes, Stroke and heart disease it has also lead to a reduction in Alzheimer’s disease.
“Intensity of treatment for diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol level has increased with more patients achieving treatment goals, and a significant decline in the vascular complications of diabetes such as heart attack, stroke, and lower-extremity amputations, suggesting that there could be a “spill-over” benefit of a decline in the vascular-related risk for dementia.”
The study shows a positive correlation between education and reduced risk. However, more studies need to be done.
“An increase in educational attainment was associated with some of the decline in dementia prevalence, but the full set of social, behavioral, and medical factors contributing to the decline is still uncertain. Continued monitoring of trends in dementia incidence and prevalence will be important for better gauging the full future societal impact of dementia as the number of older adults increases in the decades ahead.”
Even though this study seems to show that Dementia is on the decline it still remains a major healthcare issue. An estimated 12 million Americans could have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050.
As with most diseases early intervention can make all the difference. Those experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease should see their Primary Care Physician as soon as possible. There are medications and treatments that can effectively treat the disease and improve quality of life. Another way to deal with Dementia is to develop a Senior Care Plan. We help seniors and their families develop a senior care plan that can adjust as health care conditions change. For more information fill out the contact form below. One of our Elder Care Coordinators will reach out to you to set up an appointment.