Study finds 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 have dementia


A new study conducted in 2016-2017 found that 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 had dementia, and 22% experienced mild cognitive impairment.

The research The authors present the first national cognitive impairment prevalence survey in more than 20 years that allows the prevalence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment to be measured by age, education, ethnicity, gender and race. said.

As a result, older adults who self-identify as Black or African-American are more likely to develop dementia, while older adults who self-identify as Hispanic are likely to suffer from mild cognitive impairment. was shown to be high. Those without high school education were more likely to have both conditions.

“Dementia research has generally focused primarily on college-educated people racialized as white,” said lead author Jennifer Manley in a statement. .

“This study is representative of a population of older adults, historically excluded from dementia research, who are at high risk of developing cognitive impairment due to structural racism and income inequality. groups,” said Manley, a professor of neuropsychology at Gertrude H. The Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain at Columbia University.

“If you’re interested in improving equity for brain health in old age, you need to know where you stand now and where to direct your resources,” said Manley.

The study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology, included detailed neuropsychological tests and nearly 3,500 people aged 65 and over enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study, a long-term research project sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. Analyzing data from interviews with the Social Security Administration.

This study is based on a randomly selected sample of people from the study who completed a core survey and underwent a neurological examination between June 2016 and October 2017.

The study found that 15% of people who identified as black had tested positive for dementia and 22% had mild cognitive decline. Her 10% of people identified as Hispanic had dementia, but the rate of mild problems was higher, with 28% testing positive for mild cognitive impairment. Caucasian, 9% of her had dementia and 21% had mild cognitive impairment.

There was a big difference in academic performance, which experts believe protects against cognitive decline. 13% of those who never received a high school diploma. Twenty-one percent of college graduates aged 65 and older showed mild cognitive decline, compared with 30% of high school graduates.

Extremely old people had the highest rates of dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Only 3% of adults aged 65 to 69 had dementia, compared with 35% of adults aged 90 and over.

in fact all According to the report, the risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment increases with each five years of age.However, the study found no difference between men and women in the proportion of either condition

Symptoms of mild cognitive impairment include losing things, forgetting to do things or go to appointments, and having trouble coming up with words. Loss of smell and taste, and movement disorders are also possible symptoms, according to the National Institute on Aging.

People with mild cognitive impairment can take care of themselves, but “but what they have to go through to do so is exhausting,” says Wake of Winston Salem. – Laura Baker, professor of gerontology and geriatrics at Forest University School of Medicine. , North Carolina, told CNN in an earlier interview. She was not involved in the current study.

People with mild cognitive impairment may not remember where they should be, Baker said. let’s check another calendar oh i can’t find that calendar i lost my phone where is the key i can’t find the key they regroup early and get things done You can do it, but the cost is immense.”

Not everyone with mild cognitive impairment develops dementia, but many do, experts say. Lifestyle changes may be key to reversing mental decline.A 2019 study found that personalized lifestyle interventions such as diet, exercise, stress reduction and sleep hygiene It was found that it not only stopped cognitive decline in people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but actually improved their memory and thinking ability over 18 months. Women responded better than men, according to follow-up studies.

A February study found that about one-third of women over the age of 75 with mild cognitive impairment reversed progression to dementia at some point during follow-up. and academic achievement, and had excellent writing skills that experts called “cognitive reserve.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, signs of dementia vary from person to person and include memory loss and confusion, difficulty speaking, understanding and expressing thoughts, and difficulty reading and writing.

People with dementia may act impulsively or have poor judgment, which can make it difficult to pay bills and handle money responsibly.they may repeat Question, uses strange language to refer to familiar objects and takes longer than usual to complete daily tasks.

Wandering and getting lost in familiar neighborhoods is another sign of dementia, as is losing interest in everyday activities and events, or acting as if you don’t care about other people’s feelings. They may lose their balance or have other problems with movement. People with dementia may hallucinate and experience delusions and paranoia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but cognitive problems can be caused by problems in the blood vessels that block blood flow to the brain, or by small strokes caused by tiny blood clots that travel to the brain. There is. Frontal lobe dementia is a rare form thought to be associated with abnormal amounts of the proteins tau and TDP-43 and often begins in people under the age of 60. The protein alpha-synuclein called Lewy bodies.

According to the NIH, anyone with signs of cognitive decline or dementia needs a full review by a neurologist to determine the underlying cause. Similar to disease, it may mimic dementia.

According to the National Institutes of Health, if you’ve just been diagnosed with dementia, continue to see your doctor or specialist and consider asking for a referral to a memory clinic. Contact your local Alzheimer’s disease research center to consider joining a clinical trial.

The Alzheimer’s Association has detailed information on the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and offers different levels of support for both patients and caregivers.

Stay healthy — exercise improves mood, balance, and thinking. A balanced diet and quality sleep improve brain function.

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