Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Your good news of the day: Dementia rates dropping significantly, even as the population ages.

The new study found that the dementia rate in Americans 65 and older fell by 24 percent over 12 years, to 8.8 percent in 2012 from 11.6 percent in 2000. That trend is “statistically significant and impressive,” said Samuel Preston, a demographer at the University of Pennsylvania who was not associated with the study.
In 2000, people received a diagnosis of dementia at an average age of 80.7; in 2012, the average age was 82.4.
Much of what is happening with dementia rates defies explanation, said Dr. Langa, a professor of medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who also works in the Veterans Affairs health care system there.
The decline is consistent with what seems to be a long-term trend, despite researchers’ failure to find any effective way for individuals to protect themselves from Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. Dr. Langa estimates that compared with the rate in the early 1990s, there has been a 25 to 30 percent decrease in dementia rates among older Americans.
This is great news.  Dementia in a loved one is no happy thing, and the less of it, the better.  I suspect there is some environmental factor we have not yet identified that is responsible for this, but who knows.   Smarter people living longer, more productive lives is just an awesome thing.


  1. ....the dementia rate in Americans 65 and older fell by 24 percent over 12 years.

    And rose, apparently, in Americans 35 and younger. Just sayin.

    1. Probably drug use in that age range, cooking the brain, but hey, who knows. I've been acquainted with a couple of people that used street drugs heavily in the sixties, and you could definitely tell, some more than others. Those decisions will dog them for the rest of their lives. Glad I missed out on that scene.

  2. I don't doubt you're right, although to be fair my intent was to call out liberal brainwashing among the millennials.

    But yeah, dope makes you stupid. It was only pot in my case, but it didn't do me any favors.

  3. Interesting study.
    Dementia is horrible for those that have loved ones with it. I am blessed that Dad at 93 shows no signs of it.