"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Decreasing rates of dementia offer “cautious hope”.

“The number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias will increase each year as the size and proportion of the U.S. population age 65 and older continues to increase. These numbers will grow exponentially in the coming years as e.g. As the baby boom generation ages.”
2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures

Despite these alarming estimates, A report From a recent issue of New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Offered just a few words of encouragement. Researchers within the long-running Framingham Study found that dementia rates have declined over three many years.

Framingham researchers had been studying greater than 5,000 men and ladies since 1975. Participants underwent physical examinations, including dementia tests, every five years. The researchers determined that the five-year rate of dementia was 3.6 percent between 1982 and 1986, 2.8 percent between 1991 and 1996, 2.2 percent between 1998 and 2003, and a pair of.0 percent between 2009 and 2013. Moreover, the typical age of dementia had increased. 80 to 85 in 30 years.

Explaining the Declining Rates of Dementia

The decline in dementia rates was largely on account of two things we’ve got some control over – education and heart disease. The decline was only noted amongst highschool graduates, but was amongst the vast majority of Framingham participants. Rates of heart problems — including stroke, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure — were also falling in the course of the study period. In that sense, the findings provide further support for evidence that education, which may construct a “cognitive repertoire,” protects against dementia — and that heart disease, which increases blood flow to the brain. restricts it, can put it on the market.

But even with the decline in heart disease rates, rates of obesity and diabetes among the many Framingham participants began to rise. Both are risk aspects for dementia in addition to heart disease, and their continued increase may reduce and even reverse the decline in rates of dementia and heart disease.

Moreover, the overwhelming majority of Framingham's participants are white and middle class. Whether the findings apply to people from other racial and ethnic groups and economic classes stays to be seen.

Can you prevent dementia?

As the Alzheimer's Association predicts, the variety of individuals with dementia may eventually increase just because persons are living longer. At the identical time, the Framingham researchers “offer cautious hope that some cases of dementia may be prevented or at least delayed.”

Framingham's findings reinforce the notion that what's good for the center is sweet for the top. If you're leading a heart-healthy lifestyle—following a Mediterranean-style weight-reduction plan, getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, managing your stress, and fascinating with family and friends—you is probably going to scale back the danger of dementia. Even in deals.