Mid-Life Stresses May Be Tied to Late-Life Dementia Risk

MONDAY, April 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Anxiety during middle age might signal impending dementia, a new analysis suggests.

Although millions of Americans suffer from moderate to severe anxiety, it’s not clear how it is linked to dementia or if treatment could nullify the risk, British researchers say.

“We investigated anxiety levels that are significant enough to warrant being clinically diagnosed with anxiety, rather than just exhibiting some symptoms of anxiety,” said senior researcher Natalie Marchant. She’s an assistant professor at the University College London’s division of psychiatry.

To look for a possible connection between anxiety and dementia, Marchant’s team pooled data from four previously published studies that included a total of nearly 30,000 people.

The weakness of this type of study, called a meta-analysis, is that it can’t account for the quality of the studies included, or the strength of common threads the researchers find.

Although the reason for the potential association between anxiety and dementia isn’t known, and this study did not prove that one causes the other, Marchant thinks a biological explanation is possible.

“Anxiety is linked to an abnormal response to stress on a biological level,” she said. “And there is increasing interest in the influence of stress and inflammation on brain cells in the development of dementia.”

An abnormal stress response may speed brain cell aging and breakdowns in the central nervous system, thereby increasing vulnerability to dementia, the study authors suggested.

Although it might be that anxiety leads people to engage in unhealthy behaviors, the studies the researchers examined accounted for lifestyle factors, such as smoking and alcohol use, so these factors are unlikely to explain the relationship, Merchant added.

“Given the long time interval between the assessment of anxiety and the diagnosis of dementia — on average greater than 10 years — the findings from our review indicate that moderate to severe anxiety may be a potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia,” she explained.

If anxiety is a risk factor for dementia, this has implications for being able to better identify people at risk and to intervene early to reduce the risk, Marchant said.

But it’s not clear if treatment could curb this risk or whether non-drug therapies — such as mindfulness and meditation — which are known to reduce anxiety, might help.

“Therapies already exist to reduce anxiety, for example talking therapies and mindfulness interventions, so the next step is to study whether these therapies could also reduce risk for dementia,” Merchant said.

A lot remains unknown about the relationship between anxiety and depression and dementia, said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association.

“There is a well-known link between depression as a risk factor for dementia,” Fargo said.

While depression might be a cause of dementia, he noted, it’s just as likely that it is an early sign of dementia.

Fargo agreed that it’s not known if treating anxiety or depression with drugs or non-drug therapies could slow or prevent dementia.

But treating depression or anxiety is still a good idea, he said. “Certainly, there is very little downside to having your anxiety and depression treated, and there may be potential upsides,” he says.”

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Lewy Body Dementia Association Announces 24 Research Centers of Excellence

ATLANTAApril 3, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA), the leading advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness and advancing research about Lewy body dementia (LBD), announced today the launch of the LBDA Research Centers of Excellence (RCOE). This collaboration features 24 preeminent academic medical research centers across the United States, coordinated by Mayo Clinic.

The LBDA RCOE program will provide a centralized, coordinated research resource, supporting an expanded effort in conducting clinical trials related to LBD while helping to provide expert clinical care for patients, families and caregivers.                  

“Successful clinical trials are the holy grail for all the stakeholders in the Lewy body dementia treatment community, so the goal of the Research Centers of Excellence program is to benefit patients with the disease,” said Dr. Bradley Boeve, Mayo Clinic’s LBDA RCOE lead primary investigator. “Lewy body dementia is chronically underdiagnosed, so we seek to address a decades-old challenge of finding and enrolling enough correctly diagnosed patients, working with clinicians and staff who understand the disease, and reaching the right patients and families to encourage participation in clinical trials. Now we can address all three. The centers involved in the program are working together with a common goal to improve the understanding of the disease in the scientific, medical and general public communities.”

LBDA’s RCOE program aims to establish a clinical trials-ready network of leading institutions that share the common vision of providing the highest level of clinical care over the course of LBD treatment. In addition, the RCOE network seeks to increase access to support for caregivers and people living with LBD, increase the knowledge of LBD among the medical community, and construct administrative infrastructure and generate the resources necessary to further advance LBD research and care.

“Clinical trials with a patient population like LBD’s require experienced diagnosticians to ensure accurate patient participation,” said Mike Koehler, Chief Executive Officer of LBDA. “This network can share a standardized approach to patient recruitment and data collection for clinical trials. That is why we are so grateful to have the expertise of 24 preeminent academic and medical research centers, coordinated by Mayo Clinic, one of the most prolific clinical research organizations in the US, comprising the LBDA RCOE.

“In addition to establishing the RCOE program, LBDA takes a major step forward launching a competitive research initiative via the RCOE. Fertilizing the LBD infrastructure will allow us to further our understanding of this disease and develop new ways care and support of the patients, families and caregivers. In addition to supporting those living with LBD, the Association’s mission has always been to add to the scientific body of understanding about the disease to give hope to those living with it.”

Lewy body. Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease

About LBDA’s RCOE Network
The 24 RCOEs are spread across 17 states and the District of Columbia and are located in 23 American metropolitan areas. Each RCOE is led by recognized primary investigators (PIs) and co-investigators to conduct trials and provide expert care. A full listing of RCOE institutions is available on LBDA’s website at https://www.lbda.org/rcoecenters.

The centers were chosen for their clinical expertise in LBD, experience running clinical trials in related conditions (combined, the 33 PIs have run 380 clinical trials in the past 5 years), their facility’s capacity and willingness to participate, and their geographic locations.

More information on the LBDA RCOE program can be found on LBDA’s website at https://www.lbda.org/rcoe.

Driving Clinical Trials
The RCOE will collaborate on industry-sponsored clinical trials and apply for federal funding for LBD research initiatives. As our program evolves LBDA hopes to fund our own clinical research initiatives as we move forward.

For more information about LBDA, the LBDA RCOE network, or LBD, please contact Mike Koehler at mkoehler@lbda.orgor 215.822.3622.

About Lewy Body Dementia Association
The Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization in raising awareness of Lewy body dementias (LBD), supporting patients, their families and caregivers, and promoting scientific advances. LBD is a progressive brain disease that affects thinking, movement, behavior, and impacts 1.4 million people in the United States. Visit www.lbda.org.

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Research Team Carries on Dementia Prevention Work

Doctors have discovered that drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis could halve the risk of patients developing dementia.

A team led by Professor Chris Edwards, of the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, and colleagues at the University of Oxford, analysed the records of more than 5,800 people living with the condition across the UK.

They compared 3,876 patients who took disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), particularly methotrexate, with 1,938 patients who did not.

The findings, published in the journal Alzheimer’s And Dementia: Translational Research And Clinical Interventions, found those on the anti-inflammatory medication had approximately half the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Prof Edwards and Clive Holmes, a professor of biological psychiatry at the University of Southampton, along with a team at Queen’s University Belfast led by Dr Bernadette McGuinness, have been awarded £400,000 by the Alzheimer’s Society to continue their research.

This study shows a positive link between patients taking drugs to treat arthritis and reducing their risk of developing dementia – potentially by up to 50%.   

“The results we’ve seen make us optimistic that we are getting closer to better treating this neurological disease and supports further investigation in clinical trials to confirm if these drugs can be used to prevent or treat dementia.”

Rheumatoid arthritis, which affects around 400,000 people in the UK, is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.

It develops when the immune system – which usually fights infection – attacks the cells that line the joints and can also affect other parts of the body, including the lungs, heart and eyes.

Prof Edwards, who is based at Southampton General Hospital, said the discovery shows that DMARDs could provide a potential new dementia treatment.

He said: “As inflammation is a characteristic feature of many other conditions, including dementia, drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and reduce inflammation may also be beneficial for patients with other diseases.

“This has already been shown to be the case for treating patients with heart disease, where initial promising results are now being further investigated in large clinical trials.”

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Dementia prevention: Ward off memory loss symptoms by doing this free activity

DEMENTIA symptoms, such as memory loss and problems processing information, could be prevented by volunteering, according to a new study.

According to a new study by the University of Missouri, lending your time and energy to help others could improve cognitive function in older adults.

While previous research had showed a connection between volunteering and physical health, this is the first time it has been linked to mental functioning.

It is thought that volunteering, which often involves following directions, solving problems and being active, stimulates the brain.

The benefits discovered in the research, that was published in the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, were particularly prominent in women.

“Cognitive functions, such as memory, working memory, and processing are essential for living an independent life,” said Christine Proulx, from the University of Missouri.

“They’re the tools and methods the brain uses to process information.

“It’s the brain’s working memory and processing capacity that benefit the most from volunteering.”

Working memory – the brain’s ability to temporarily store and manage information – can be impacted as people get older.

Many dementia sufferers find their working memory suffers first, while their long-term memory – such as experiences in childhood or as young adults – tends to stay intact for slightly longer.

Processing capacity, which the study also found to benefit, is how fast the mind is able to take in and store information.

Dementia sufferers can find it increasingly difficult to process new information, and their responses may become delayed.

The researchers looked at the impact of volunteering on the brains of 11,000 adults aged 51 and over.

They found it benefited participants, regardless of the amount of time spent doing it.

“Prior research has shown that older adults with lower levels of education are at greater risk of cognitive decline,” said Proulx.

“Engaging in volunteering might compensate for some of that risk.”

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Let’s Stop the Horror of our Loved One’s Straying and Getting Lost

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Do You Think Eating at the Same Time Every Day Helps Dementia? Plus, Additional Break Through in Up-Coming Years

Want to prevent dementia? Eating at the same time every day could fight signs of condition

DEMENTIA affects around 850,000 people in the UK, according to Alzheimer’s Society, but eating at the same time every day could fight the signs and symptoms of the condition.

Dementia is a condition associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning.According to the NHS, signs and symptoms include memory loss, thinking speed, mental sharpness and quickness and difficulties in carrying out daily activities.New research has found eating at the same time every day could help combat neurodegenerative diseases.Huntington’s Disease is another form of dementia which damages certain nerve cells in the brain, and a new study published in the journal ENeuro found a way to improve quality of life for patients diagnosed with the condition.The study, carried out by researchers from The University of California, LA, found regular meals improved brain power and sleep quality in mice with Huntington’s disease – and they believe it will also apply to humans.As part of the research, one group of mice were only given food during a six-hour period then they were most active.The rest were free to eat whenever they liked.Results revealed the mice who were given regular meal plans to have improved gene expression in the striatum and better cardiovascular health.Study author Professor Christopher Colwell said: “After three months of treatment, when mice reached the early disease stage, they showed improvements in their locomotor activity rhythm and sleep awakening time.“Furthermore, we found improved heart rate variability, suggesting their nervous system dysfunction was improved.“Importantly, treated mice exhibited improved motto performance compared to untreated controls.“The data suggests feeding schedules could play a role in the treatment of dementia and could lead to the development of new treatment options for neurodegenerative disorders.”Having or knowing someone with the condition can be devastating, but there are things in place to make life a little easier.

A DRUG to treat Alzheimer’s could be just five years away after a major breakthrough

Scientists found that destroying specific immune cells reduced the formation of a toxic protein which leads to the disease.

This fresh understanding of the way Alzheimer’s works at a molecular level could finally lead to therapies that treat the underlying causes of the devastating illness.

Experts are trying to develop a “disease-modifying” dementia therapy by 2025.

But Professor Michael Heneka, who led the research at the University of Bonn, Germany, said a drug to stop the disease progressing could come sooner.

Amyloid beta is the rogue protein at the heart of the brain-wasting condition.

Almost all previous trials have targeted the clumps of the protein that build up in sufferers damaging their memories.

The research suggests they are fuelled by inflammation which causes the specific immune cells, called microglia, to release specks of a protein called ASC – which stick to the proteins and cause the clumps to develop.

Analysis shows that Alzheimer’s disease is more feared than cancer in those aged over 45.

Tests on cells grown in a laboratory showed that an antibody blocking ASC from binding to amyloid stopped it from forming into clumps, suggesting progression of the illness can be halted.

The specks have also been seen in scans of brains of those who have died from the disease.

Dr Sara Imarisio, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Researchers are building a picture of the precise interplay between the immune system and the brain, and this new study adds an important piece to this puzzle.

“By using a sophisticated combination of experiments, these researchers have examined the molecular players linking the immune system and the build-up of amyloid protein from all angles. Research like this is crucial for identifying new avenues to explore in the hunt for new treatments that can slow or halt damaging changes in the brain.”

“Drugs that act against the immune system have real potential to limit damage in Alzheimer’s.”

Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, usually starts with forgetfulness and can progress to complete loss of memory causing the greatest distress to families.

Research shows it doubles in prevalence every five years above the age of 65.

But if onset could be delayed by five years, dementia prevalence would be halved.

The breakthrough, published in the journal Nature, comes as researchers at the University of Manchester, supported by Alzheimer’s Research UK, work on drugs designed to target the molecular machinery inside the brain which, if successful, could pave the way for “life-changing treatments” for dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

There are around a dozen antiamyloid drugs currently in late stage trials but, until now, hope has rested on an experimental drug called aducanumab, a monthly antibody infusion that destroys the build up of plaques.

Test results are due to be published by US drug-maker Biogen in 2019.

Nick Fox, Professor of Neurology at the Institute of Neurology, University College London, said: “For late onset disease, slowing onset for a few years is an effective cure because something else may carry you away. We already have evidence we are seeing effects on brain pathology – will that translate into meaningful clinical benefit in a big trial by 2025? Yes, I think so.”

Professor John Hardy, of the Institute of Neurology at UCL, said: “I am optimistic of finding a disease modifying treatment by 2025. Disease modifying, yes.”

There are now 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, 500,000 of them with Alzheimer’s, but that number is expected to rocket to a million by 2025.

 

 

 

 

 

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Why do I Need Focus Factor Nutrition?

FOCUSfactor claims to be ‘America’s no 1. brain health supplement’

research on top-selling cognitive function supplement FOCUSfactor suggests it could improve memory, concentration, and focus in healthy adults.

FOCUSfactor contains a blend of DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol – found in salmon, sardines and the human brain), the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA, vitamins B12, B6 and D3, beta carotene, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidlyserine, and the plant extracts Huperzine

RAVLT and Cog Screen

In the FOCUSfactor trial, Dr Kay used the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT), one of the most commonly used tests of memory in psychopharmacology research.

He also used CogScreen, a computer-administered neuropsychological test battery developed for the Federal Aviation Administration for evaluating the cognitive functioning of pilots and in clinical trials evaluating effects of treatments on cognitive functioning.

“The clinical study demonstrated that, compared to placebo, FOCUSfactor improved abilities referred to as memory, concentration, and focus in healthy adults,” ​he said.

“The most dramatic effects were seen on the initial learning trials of RAVLT and were confirmed by findings on the CogScreen measures of concentration and working memory.   

 

Improved word recall

He added: “Following six weeks of treatment, subjects who received FOCUSfactor had a mean increase in recall of 6.5 words compared to 4.5 words for those who received placebo.

“Subjects who received FOCUSfactor performed significantly better (p = 0.031) on a CogScreen measure of concentration / working memory than subjects who received placebo.”

Focus Factor is a preventative effect to ward off Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Key Ingredients and Their Functions

  • Choline – This is a molecule that is responsible for nervous system communication. It is commonly found in peanuts, egg yolks, and cauliflower among other foods. Researchers suggest that extra choline in the body will help improve* memory.
  • Vinpocetine – this is an extract obtained periwinkle plant. This substance can protect you from neural damage.
  • Dimethylethanolamine – This is abbreviated as DMAE, is a compound that can be used to treat* depression. Researchers suggest that taking this substance can help one improves* his thinking thus becoming more intelligent.
  • L-glutamine – This is an amino acid that is associated with brain enhancement. This element is included in Focus Factor to supplement the body with more glutamate for neurotransmissions.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid This is abbreviated as DHA, is a type of Omega 3 fatty acid. This ingredient can help reduce* the rate of memory loss more especially in the younger generation.

The Advantages Of Focus Factor

  • This product contains a variety of mineral and vitamins that may enhance* the activities of the brain thus making individuals to think with clarity.
  • Focus Factor is easily and quickly taken without any complications.

The Disadvantages Of Focus Factor

  • Some users have reported some minor side effects such as stomach and gastric upset when they consume the product.

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  • #1 Selling Brain Supplement
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Neuro Health Review: How Safe And Important Is This Product for Dementia?

Neuro Health is a nootropic formula, which claims to boost* the health of your brain and improve* the cognitive functions. It is made from natural extracts, which are safe and effective. Intake of this product will make you have better concentration and be able to handle tough daily activities. This formula will boost* the flow of blood in your brain, enabling all the essential nutrients to reach the brain cells and lead to a better performance. It will also provide your brain cells with the necessary power for proper functioning. This formula will also enhance* your focus, memory, acuity and concentration.

Neuro Health Ingredients List

The ingredients used in this supplement are all natural extracts, and they work to promote proper functioning of your brain.

  • Green Tea Extracts – It increases* flow of blood in your brain leading to more brain power. It also enhances* memory and overall cognitive abilities.
  • Huperzine A – Enhances* memory and increase* mental alertness.
  • Bacopa Monniera – Improves* cognitive function and boost* your brain health.
  • L- Glutamine – It is an amino acid that delivers proteins in your brain and improve* memory.
  • Vitamin A – It supplies your brain with nutrients.
  • Folic Acid – It boosts* flow of blood in your brain.

Advantages

  • Improve Attention & Concentration Levels
  • Boost Cognition & Motor Activity Skills
  • Improve Learning & Behaviour
  • Improve Sleep Patterns
  • Reduce Cravings
  • Improve Mood
  • Maintains alertness by removing brain fog
  • Increases energy levels

Disadvantages

  • Causes migraines to some people

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Neuro Health brain supplement is your answer! Neuro Health seems to work on those people who have problems concentrating or retaining memory.

The mix of ingredients is carefully blended to give you improved brain health and functions. You will also be likely to benefit from brain cell repair and maintenance through the vitamins and amino acids present in Neuro Health. The product is also believed to support memory recall and transfer of energy within the mitochondria.

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The Amazing Life Saving Benefits of Coconut Oil

Today, I would like to express how beneficial coconut oil is to everyone. So I will be talking about the extraordinary benefits of coconut oil, as well as, side effects, what all medical uses coconut oil is for and how to take coconut oil.

To date, there are over 1,500 studies proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Coconut oil benefits and uses go beyond what most people realize.

Most of the fats we consume take longer to digest, but MCFAs found in coconut oil provide the perfect source of energy because they only have to go through a three-step process to be turned into fuel vs. other fats that have to go through a 26-step process!    

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1. Proven Alzheimers Disease Natural Treatment

The digestion of MCFAs by the liver creates ketones that are readily accessible by the brain for energy. Ketones supply energy to the brain without the need of insulin to process glucose into energy.

Recent research has shown that the brain actually creates its own insulin to process glucose and power brain cells. As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient loses the ability to create its own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function.

2. Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure

Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL cholesterol)  in your body, but also help convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols.

By increasing the HDL in the body, it helps promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil also benefits the heart by lowering high triglycerides.

3. Treats UTI and Kidney Infection and Protects the Liver

Coconut oil has been known to clear up and heal urinary tract infection (UTI) and kidney infections. The MCFAs in the oil work as a natural antibiotic by disrupting the lipid coating on bacteria and killing them. Research also shows that coconut oil directly protects the liver from damage.

Coconut water also helps hydrate and support the healing process. Doctors have even injected coconut water to clear up kidney stones. Coconut is a powerful superfood, which is evident given all these tremendous coconut oil benefits.

4. Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis

In a study in India, the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil (VCO) reduced inflammation and treated arthritis more effectively than leading medications.

In another recent study, coconut oil that was harvested with only medium heat was found to suppress inflammatory cells. It worked as both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

But, wait that’s not all!

Coconut Oil also Prevents & Treats Cancer, Boost Immune System, Improves Memory & Brain Function, Improves Energy and Endurance, Improves Digestion, Reduces Ulcer & Colitis, Helps Gall Bladder Disease & Pancreatitis, Improves Skin Issues, Prevents Gum Disease& Tooth Decay, Prevents Osteoporosis, Improves Type 2 Diabetes, Helps Weight Loss, Builds Muscle & Decreases Body Fat, Benefits Hair Health, Fights Fungal Infections on the Skin & Yeast Infections, Anti-Aging, and Balances Hormones.

Coconut Oil Side Effects

There are rarely any side effects for coconut oil. Occasionally, a contact allergy may occur for certain individuals that are allergic to coconuts.

coconut oil is known for reducing side effects of many medications. For instance, in studies, it reduced the symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments.

How to Take Coconut Oil

I use coconut oil for all of my cooking and baking. It’s the oil of choice, since unrefined, natural, organic coconut oil adds a nice coconut flavor but does not contain the harmful toxins other hydrogenated cooking oils do.

You can also apply it topically directly to your skin or use for essential oils or blends.

Now that I have provided you all the facts and benefits of Coconut Oil, the many medical uses, minimal side effect, and how to use Coconut Oil, as you can see, everyone on earth needs to be using Coconut Oil for a better life that will help us all live longer. Our health is more important than anything. So, don’t hesitate get yours now.

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Dementia and Cognitive Impairment more Prevalent in Rural than Urban Seniors

Increased educational attainment has helped to mitigate cognitive decline among seniors in rural communities, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Senior woman learning with her elder care nurse

Ann Arbor, MI, December 12, 2017 – Americans who live in urban areas tend to be healthier than individuals living in rural settings. While this healthcare disparity has been examined for more than a decade, researchers present the first nationally representative study to find that dementia and cognitive impairment have consistently been more prevalent among rural dwelling seniors than urban dwelling seniors.

Their findings, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, further suggest that while lagging behind their urban counterparts, the cognitive health of seniors living in rural areas has benefited from early twentieth century investments in secondary education.

“The incidence of dementia is expected to double by 2050 largely because of the aging cohort of Baby Boomers. While many studies to date have focused on individual-level sources of disparity (e.g. racial and ethnic origins), this is the first study to report a rural-urban differential that behooves the scientific and clinical community to address the attendant factors that confer higher risk for dementia in rural seniors,” explained senior investigator Regina Shih, PhD, of the RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA.

sitting in solitude

Using a nationally representative sample of U.S. community-dwelling older adults, more than 16,000 adults aged 55 years or older were evaluated in 2000 and in 2010. Cognitive function was assessed by a 27-point Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status, using multiple validated tests. A score of 6 or less indicated dementia, 7 to 11 indicated cognitive impairment without dementia (CIND), and a score of 12 or more was considered normal cognitive function. Data were gathered by proxy from 8.6% of respondents with significant cognitive impairment in 2000 and 4.8% in 2010.

Individual sociodemographic characteristics were measured, including: age, gender, race, ethnicity, total number of children, marital status, highest educational attainment, and net total assets in 2000. Health conditions including high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, or psychiatric conditions were taken into account.

Data from 2000 show that cognitive impairment was more prevalent in rural vs. urban areas (7.1% rural vs. 5.4% urban for dementia, and 19.8% rural vs. 15.9% urban for CIND). However, ten years later there were no significant differences in the rates, which had both declined, with a greater decrease in rural than urban areas (5.1% vs. 4.4% and 16.5% vs. 14.9%.  

Concurrent changes in sociodemographic characteristics of rural and urban older adults had also occurred. Racial and ethnic minorities comprised an even larger relative proportion of urban dwellers in 2010, while the proportion of older adults with less than 12 years of education dropped by about half in rural areas between 2000 and 2010.

Once these and other changes were accounted for, the fully adjusted relative risk ratio (RRR) was 60% higher for dementia and 44% higher for CIND in rural areas compared to urban areas in 2000. In 2010, similarly high rural-urban differentials were found: RRRs for dementia and CIND were about 80% and 40% higher, respectively, in rural compared to urban areas.

Above and beyond age, race/ethnicity, wealth, and health conditions, the most important factor in reducing the rural-urban disparities over a decades’ time was educational attainment. The researchers found that education was protective against dementia and CIND, yielding between 83% and 89% lower RRR for individuals with more than 12 years of education.

Elderly woman with dementia

“Our findings linking rural adults’ recent gains in cognitive functioning with the improved rates of high school graduation provides a new example of how public investment in education can narrow population health disparities.”

“The absence of any prior evidence about the rates and disparities in dementia and cognitive impairment by rural residence that comes from a large, nationally representative study has certainly hampered the ability of these communities to advocate for continued investment in rural healthcare and long-term care services.”

Dr. Shih added, “”We were heartened to observe that the rural-urban disparities in dementia have narrowed somewhat over time, however there is still a disadvantage that persists among rural seniors. Rural communities are aging more rapidly than urban communities. Given that those communities experience more healthcare and long-term care system challenges, we hope this research sheds light on the need to intervene on the factors that place rural seniors at greater risk for dementia.”

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