The problem? The opening scene depicts a woman with early onset Alzheimer's disease. A rare form of the condition that strikes fear in everyone--especially since the recent blockbuster Still Alice. The real truth lives somewhere between normal senescence and whatever triggers the abnormal pathology of Alzheimer's disease. You may be surprised to learn that we actually have no idea.
Findings In this observational cohort study of more than 21000 US adults 65 years or older from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study, dementia prevalence declined significantly, from 11.6% in 2000 to 8.8% in 2012.
Meaning Population brain health seemed to improve between 2000 and 2012; increasing educational attainment and better control of cardiovascular risk factors may have contributed to the improvement, but the full set of social, behavioral, and medical factors contributing to the improvement is still uncertain.
Here is the current pipeline as reported recently in Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions