ALZHEIMER'S INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE:
While the sheer number of people with Alzheimer's continues to rise with the growing population of American elders, the percentage of people with Alzheimer's is falling. If Alzheimer's seems to be on the rise around the world, why are we so fortunate as to see the rate dropping in the USA?
Worldwide prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is projected to increase in the decades ahead as the planet's population ages, but recently published studies from the United States, the Netherlands, Sweden, and England suggest a decline in incidence or prevalence of dementia (or both) in those countries.
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This is according to a review of recent research conducted by Kenneth Langa, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Michigan and the VA Ann Arbor Center for Clinical Management Research, and reported at a plenary session at AAIC 2014.
Langa observed from the studies that a number of factors, especially rising levels of education and more aggressive treatment of cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and high cholesterol, may be leading to improved brain health and consequent decline of numbers of new cases of Alzheimer's disease and dementia in certain countries or regions of the world.
“Whether this trend will continue in the face of rising levels of obesity and diabetes, and whether it is also true in low- and middle-income countries, are key unanswered questions,” said Langa. “The answers will have enormous implications for the extent of the future worldwide impact of Alzheimer's disease and dementia in the decades ahead.”
The Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world's largest gathering of leading researchers from around the world focused on Alzheimer's and other dementias. As a part of the Alzheimer's Association's research program, AAIC serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about dementia and fostering a vital, collegial research community. Scientists leading the advancement of research gather to report and discuss the most current data on the cause, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.
About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. Visit www.alz.org or call 800.272.3900.