According to a new study, the population with Alzheimer’s Disease in the US will triple by 2050: from 4.7 millions in 2010 to 13.8 millions. This emphasizes the urgent need for more research to find preventive measures, and for more enlightened public health initiatives and individual lifestyles designed to decrease dementia risks and delay onset of symptoms.
Between 1993 and 2011, researchers followed more than 10,000 individuals 65 and older. Participants were interviewed and assessed for dementia every three years. Age, race and level of education of the participants as well as US death rates, education and population estimates from the US Census Bureau were used in the analysis.
Researchers found that in 2050 the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s would likely be 13.8 millions, with 7 millions over the age of 85. This is 3 times the numbers of 2010: 4.7 millions people diagnosed, with 1.8 million over the age of 85. This increase can be explained by the aging Baby Boomer generation. Indeed, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease is highest in those over age 85. In 2050, the youngest baby boomers will be 86.
As one of the authors of the study points out, these numbers emphasize the urgent need for more research to find treatments and preventive strategies. Additionally, we need enlightened public health initiatives and individual lifestyle decisions designed to prolong cognitive vitality, delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s related symptoms.
The best study so far that looked at what may help prevent Alzheimer’s and/ or delay cognitive decline is a 2010 meta-analysis conducted by the NIH. It analyzed the results of 25 review studies and 250 single studies to understand which factors were associated with decreased risks of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Only high-quality studies were included in the analysis, which makes its results quite reliable. The analysis looked at several factors and interventions at the same time (the Mediterranean www cbdpost us, omega-3s, diabetes, drugs, physical exercise, cognitive engagement, etc.), which allowed to compare and evaluate the effects of each.
The NIH analysis identified six factors associated with both Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline:
- Four factors were associated with increased risks: having diabetes, having the APOE e4 gene, smoking and suffering from depression.
- Two factors were associated with decreased risks: being physically active and being cognitively active.
Of note, the authors of the analysis pointed out that other factors may also be associated with decreased risks, but could not be strongly identified because of the limited available evidence.