Medicare Will Now Cover Aduhelm Only for Those Enrolled in Clinical Trials

Last year, there was new hope in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease when a new drug, Aduhelm, was approved for use to combat the disease. But now Medicare officials have announced their final decision to cover this drug only for people who receive it as participants in a clinical trial. This is good and bad news: while the drug won’t be as widely available, Medicare officials are considering cutting premiums for all beneficiaries, since the new drug was the reason for the $22 increase in Medicare’s Part B premiums this year.

The Price of Aduhelm

Aduhelm hit the market as the first new Alzheimer’s medication in nearly two decades, and many hoped it would be a breakthrough in fighting the disease. It was first priced at $56,000 a year, and was expected to generate billions for the company that developed it, Biogen. This astronomical price did eventually come down to $28,000 a year, but this price tag is still too high for Medicare. illustration of a green price tag in an orange circle

The high price of Aduhelm has meant that:

  • Doctors have been hesitant to prescribe it, given the lack of coverage and weak evidence that the drug slows the progression of Alzheimer’s. 
  • Insurance companies have blocked or restricted coverage. 
  • Medicare Part B premiums have gone up $22 a month, the largest increase ever.

The Future Of Aduhelm

After all the concerns from insurers, doctors, and advocacy groups, Medicare decided to restrict the new drug, and only allow coverage for it for people involved in clinical trials. Dr. Lee Fleisher, the chief medical officer at the Medicare agency, explained this decision by saying that this way of dealing with the fast-developing field of Alzheimer’s therapies, a program called Coverage with Evidence Development, “is meant to be nimble and really respond to any new drugs in this class that are in the pipeline, and do demonstrate clinical benefit.”

But Medicare is also trying to make the trials accessible to more people: instead of requiring randomized controlled trials to be approved by C.M.S., Medicare will cover participants in any trial approved by the F.D.A. or the National Institutes of Health. This will allow the trials to be done in more locations, not just in hospital settings, and to include people with other neurological conditions like Down syndrome, many of whom develop Alzheimer’s but were not included in earlier trials.

money sign in an orange circle with a blue arrow pointing down beneath it
Officials are hoping to lower Medicare Part B Premiums since the cost of Aduhelm has gone down.

In the trials, “the manufacturers will have to come to us with how are they going to include all patients that represent the Medicare population, and how are they going to ensure that all of these patients are getting appropriate medical treatment and monitoring of their treatment while they’re in each of these studies,” Tamara Syrek Jensen, the director of coverage and analysis for the Medicare agency’s Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, said in an interview.

Medicare Premiums

In the meantime, Medicare officials are in talks to hopefully lower Medicare Part B premiums now that they will not be covering Aduhelm for all Medicare beneficiaries, and now that the drug is coming down in price.

If you are one of the millions of Medicare beneficiaries who are living on a fixed income, saving as much money as possible is a top priority. The best way to save money on healthcare is to find an affordable Medicare Supplement Plan – and the best way to do that? Speak to an EZ agent! We work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation and can help find a plan that will save you money this year –  maybe even hundreds of dollars. Let our agents take the stress off you by comparing plans and finding ways to help you save money. And because we want to help you save as much money as possible, our services are completely free- no-obligation or hassle. To get free instant quotes for plans that cover your current doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar on the side, or to speak to a licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.

Recognizing The Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

Have you been finding yourself forgetting the small stuff lately, or maybe sometimes even forgetting the big stuff? Maybe you can’t remember where you put your keys, or what you walked into a room for – hey,  it happens to the best of us! It’s normal to have bouts of forgetfulness as you age, but if it’s happening more and more often, you might be worried that what you’re experiencing is the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease. If your forgetfulness is impacting your life – for example, if you’re forgetting to pay your bills, or beginning to find things in odd places, or even if you can’t find the right words – these could be signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is important to recognize the early signs of Alzheimer’s so you can seek treatment, which can help slow the progression of the disease.

Alzheimer’s Explainedolder man with questions near him

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Being forgetful is a normal part of aging, but Alzheimer’s is not. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, and it tends to worsen over time, resulting in the loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to your environment. It does eventually lead to death: it’s the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. On average, a person can live 4-8 years with Alzheimer’s, but some can live up to 20 years, especially if it is treated early. 

As we said, Alzheimer’s unfortunately has no cure, but there is a new drug, Aduhelm, that has been approved to help reduce cognitive and functional decline. For this drug to be as effective as possible, it needs to be administered in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. This drug is one of the few available to treat the disease, but researchers are continuing to work on figuring out the causes of Alzheimer’s, as well as ways to treat and hopefully even prevent it. 

Early Signs

As we have already stated, and cannot stress enough, treating Alzheimer’s in its early stages is the best way to help slow down its progression and give hope for a longer life. Signs to look for include:

  • Persistent forgetfulness– We don’t mean the regular everyday forgetfulness that most people experience once in a while, such as forgetting to take out the trash or where you put something. Persistent forgetfulness means you find yourself becoming more dependent on your phone reminding you of everyday tasks, needing to write everything down so you don’t forget, or asking the same question over and over because you don’t remember the answer.
  • Poor judgment– With Alzheimer’s, you will find yourself becoming more susceptible to scams or making poor choices with money because your judgment is impaired. You might even lack the judgment to know what you should wear or find yourself wearing the same thing many days in a row.
  • Trouble with directions– You might find yourself getting lost more often, even on routes that you normally drive or are used to. If you find yourself having trouble getting to places that you often go, it may be something to see the doctor about.
  •  Mood swings– You might find yourself getting more easily frustrated during normal activities, or might suddenly get anxious or fearful for an unknown reason. older woman looking outside of a window
  • Withdrawing– You might not be interested in spending time with your family and friends, and might not want to participate in activities you normally would love to do. This might be  because you have a hard time concentrating on what is going on, which leaves you upset, so you just choose to avoid these situations altogether 
  • Difficulty finding the right words– We all forget a word here and there, even though it is on the tip of our tongue. But if you find this happening more often and you have a hard time following along with a conversation or finding the right words, this could be a sign of something more serious.

Get Help

If you find yourself dealing with one or more of the aforementioned early signs, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Early treatment can mean a longer and more fulfilling life, so don’t ignore the symptoms and allow the disease to progress. Medicare will cover testing, and the cost of medication, but as with all treatments, Medicare Part B will only cover 80%, leaving you to pay for the other 20% out-of-pocket. This can be quite expensive, especially if you are living on a fixed income, as many Medicare beneficiaries are. Fortunately, though, you can save money on all your medical expenses and get extra coverage by purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan

There are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans to choose from, each offering different coverage options and rates. It’s worth looking into a Medicare Supplement Plan to save as much money as you can, so speak to an EZ agent for all of your options. EZ’s agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation and can compare plans for you in minutes at no cost. To get free instant quotes for plans that cover your current doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar on the side, or to speak to a licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.

Feeling Sad? Scared? What To Know About Sundowner’s Syndrome

Dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is incredibly difficult: you might be both going through many changes as the disease progresses, and also feeling afraid of losing your memory. The behavioral changes that come with these conditions might be accompanied by feeling sad, irritated, scared, delusional, or even hallucinations, feelings that get worse at night. These are actually quite common symptoms of sundowner’s syndrome, which can be a distressing part of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and while you cannot reverse dementia or Alzheimer’s, there are some lifestyle changes and medications that can help alleviate the symptoms of sundowner’s syndrome. 

What Is Sundowning or Sundowner’s Syndrome?

Sundowner’s syndrome is not a disease, rather it is a group of symptoms exhibited by people diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s. This syndrome is so named because the symptoms occur as the sun sets, and get worse at night. Sundowner’s syndrome usually begins later in the afternoon, and can last into the night, and so is also called late-day confusion. 

Doctors and researchers are not sure what causes sundowner’s syndrome, but they believe there are various factors that contribute to it. Mainly, they believe that the syndrome occurs because of all the sensory stimulation built up over the course of the day, which can become very overwhelming, causing patients to become irritated, confused, and act out. Other factors might include:stress and anxiety and other words in a person silhouette with a clock behind the person

  • Hormonal imbalances that occur at night, affecting your natural circadian rhythm 
  • Anxiety caused by the inability to see well in the dark
  • Changes in melatonin levels affecting your internal body clock
  • Reduced lighting affecting you see shadows and objects around you
  • Too much or too little light
  • Sleep problems, such as too little sleep or disturbed sleep
  • Difficulty distinguishing dreams from reality when sleeping
  • A loss of routine
  • Reduced sight and hearing
  • Prescription medication wearing off toward the end of the day

Sundowner’s Syndrome Symptoms

If you have an episode of sundowner’s syndrome, you will exhibit certain behaviors and express certain emotions, including:

  • Anger
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Delusions and hallucinations
  • Reduced attention levels
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Stubbornness and being demanding
  • Restlessness
  • Rocking
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Pacing and wandering
  • Paranoia and suspiciousness 
  • Violence
  • Mood changes
  • Crying
  • Insomnia
  • Yelling or screaming
  • Shadowing

Managing Sundowner’s Syndrome

Experiencing the aforementioned symptoms and changes can be difficult for both the person going through it and their caregivers. But there are some things that can be done to help manage the syndrome, including making lifestyle changes like:notebook open wit a list in it and a hand holding a pen

  • Developing a daily routine– Routines are important for older patients, not only to help keep you on track throughout the day, but also to help alleviate the anxiety that can occur as the sun begins to set. 
  • Taking walks– Going for an evening walk can help reduce restlessness. 
  • Changing your diet– Sweets and caffeine during the middle of the day or evening can interrupt sleep. Snack light and try to limit sugar, caffeine, and heavy meals to earlier in the day. 
  • Avoiding daytime naps– Unless they seem to help, try to avoid midday naps, which can cause sleep issues at night.
  • Increasing light– To prevent shadows that can cause anxiety, fear, or delusions, try to keep rooms well-lit. 

Medications & Natural Remedies To Consider

There are a number of medications that can help manage sundowner’s syndrome, although they are not guaranteed to work. You can try:

  • Cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil, which reduce cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease
  • NMDA receptor agonists, such as memantine hydrochloride, which aim to slow the brain damage responsible for Alzheimer’s symptoms
  • Melatonin supplements or light therapy to help balance your sleep-wake cycle
  • Antipsychotic medications to manage delusions and hallucinations

If you are seeking more natural remedies, consider:

  • Light therapy- Talk to your doctor about a high-quality lightbox that might help you
  • Music therapy– Listening to music, playing instruments, and dancing can be soothing
  • Aromatherapy- Scents like lemon balm, lavender, and cedar can help relax and calm youpaintbrush on a painted canvas
  • Multisensory stimulation- This includes painting and other forms of art therapy
  • Simulated presence therapy– Playing a video or recording of a loved one can help bring comfort and calmness

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and it is becoming too much, reach out and ask for help. Contact your doctor and see if there is anything you can do to lessen the severity of the symptoms, and help calm you down towards the evening; you can also seek out some natural remedies to help manage the symptoms. And if you do decide to see the doctor or opt for medications, it is important to make sure Medicare will cover the costs, since worrying about medical bills, or not seeking help because of the cost of treatment, will not help you get better. 

If you are interested in reviewing Medicare options in your area to see if you can find better coverage and save more money, we can help you. EZ can compare all available plans in your area for free- no hassle and no obligation. To get free instant quotes for plans that cover your current doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar on the side, or to speak to a licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.

The U.S. Approves Its First New Alzheimer’s Drug In 20 Years

Someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds; in 2020, it was estimated that 5.8 million Americans aged 65 or older had the condition. These startling statistics are made all the more unsettling by the fact that there is currently no known cure, and few effective treatments, for the disease. But there might be good news on that front: for the first time in nearly 20 years, a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease has been approved for use in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Aducanumab, known by the brand name Aduhelm, targets dementia, the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s. But while U.S. manufacturer Biogen, Inc, creator of the drug, has found that the drug works well in higher doses, use of the drug has been narrowed after the FDA received criticism for approving it.  

The Approval

two caucasian hands with their thumbs up
The FDA collaborated with Biogen, the creator of the Alzheimer’s drug, and fast-tracked the drug’s approval.

Aducanumab has had a somewhat rocky approval process. In March 2019, late-stage trials involving 3,000 patients were halted when it was determined that the drug was not slowing down deterioration in participants. However, after Biogen and the FDA worked together to further analyze the data, they concluded that the drug might actually work; Biogen then began collaborating on the drug with the FDA, who fast-tracked its approval this year. They agreed that the drug targets and reduces amyloid, a protein that forms abnormal clumps in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s, which damages brain cells. 

The FDA said there was “substantial evidence that aducanumab reduces amyloid beta plaques in the brain” and that this “is reasonably likely to predict important benefits to patients.”

The drug would cost roughly $56,000 a year and requires monthly IV infusions. 

The Controversy

The FDA’s approval of the drug has been criticized by many, including members of the FDA’s advisory panel, some of whom resigned in protest, and other drug manufacturers are also voicing their concerns. 

Experts are split on whether the FDA’s fast-tracking of the Alzheimer’s drug is potentially harmful or beneficial. Some think more evidence is necessary to prove that the drug is effective, and others worry that this might mean the FDA will begin to fast-track treatments for other diseases, which could put false hope above solid clinical science, and possibly harm patients. On the other hand, some advocacy groups see this as a possible way to help patients dealing with other diseases: “If the FDA can find a way to be flexible for Alzheimer’s, maybe they can find a way to be flexible for ALS,” said Neil Thakur, chief mission officer at the ALS Association.magnifying glass over a piece of paperThe acting head of the FDA, Dr. Janet Woodcock, has weighed in on the controversy, calling for a government investigation into the contacts between Biogen and some of her agency’s drug reviewers. “We believe an independent assessment is the best manner in which to determine whether any interactions that occurred between the manufacturer and the agency’s review staff were inconsistent with FDA’s policies and procedures,” Woodcock said on Twitter.

After the criticism of the drug’s approval, Biogen has narrowed the use of Aduhelm, recommending the treatment be used for people with mild cognitive impairments. They have asked for an update to the label, stating there is no safety or effectiveness data on treatment at earlier or later stages of Alzheimer’s.

As for now, the debate over the drug’s approval continues: aducanumab is being hailed by patient advocates who are eager for a treatment for Alzheimer’s, while others are saying that clinical trials of the drug are inconsistent and more research is needed. Biogen has now been required to conduct a follow-up study to provide more solid evidence that the drug is actually effective. At the very least, this controversial drug could help boost underfunded dementia research, which would be a win for everyone.

Can Art Make a Difference in the Lives of Those Living with Dementia?

It can be easy to focus on the things that we lose as we age. Energy, sleep, even taste buds! The possibility of losing one’s memory can be the scariest thing of all, and, unfortunately, it does happen to many people as they age. In fact, it has been estimated that 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 will be affected by some form of dementia. Researchers are working hard to find ways to slow down or even cure Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, but, unfortunately, as of now, there is no cure. However, there is definitely some very promising research showing that our brain’s capacity for creativity doesn’t diminish, and that using creativity can help improve quality of life for those with dementia. 

Does Dementia Affect Creativity?

Many researchers are finding that programs teaching art or using art as a jumping off point for discussion can be more than just a way to pass the time for those suffering from dementia. They can rebuild confidence, as well as allow participants a way to express themselves and even communicate more effectively. Researchers are also finding that artists can continue to practice their art, whether it’s painting, music, or writing, no matter their diagnosis; their art may change, but that doesn’t mean it changes for the worse. 

older hands holding a piece of construction paper with a person in blue scrubs sitting next to them
Researchers find that people with dementia can continue to practice art, and even become better at it.

According to Anne Basting, director of the Center on Age and Community at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, “People look at dementia as loss and deficit. They never assume people with dementia can grow or learn anything [but] that’s what we’re witnessing: growth and expression and skill-building.” Basting has pioneered writing and other arts programs for people with dementia; she has seen firsthand how the people she works with use art to bypass traditional ways of expressing themselves and get their point across in other ways. 

When it comes to people who were artists before their diagnosis, neurologist Bruce L. Miller, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco has found that their work can actually become more original as their dementia progresses. In addition, he has seen dementia patients who were not artists before their diagnosis develop an interest in and a talent for art afterwards. 

According to Miller, “We typically don’t think that something could be getting better, we only think about what’s getting worse,” he said. “Now I always ask if there’s anything patients are doing very well, or better than before. It’s a remarkable response to a dementing illness.”  All this suggests that the way our brains deal with creativity may be different than the way they deal with our day-to-day functioning. 

Artists’ Brains

Is it possible that art can have a long-term positive effect on the brain? Dr. Luis Fornazzari, a neurologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, has been trying to answer just that question, and he and his team have made exciting discoveries. They have found that the brain anatomy of musicians is different from that of others. Their brains had built special “neural networks” that were more resistant to the effects of stroke, dementia, and even traumatic brain injuries. The musicians they worked with could continue to play their music and even learn new songs even if they had been affected by dementia. the brain in different colored pixels all over

Fornazzari and his team also found that painters and artists who draw can continue their craft, and dancers can experience delayed progression of Parkinson’s; one renowned sculptor who was unable to tell time, name certain animals, and recall simple words was able to draw beautiful, detailed sketches of people from memory. 

It’s definitely looking like engaging in any kind of creative pursuit can be beneficial to the brain. After looking at all of these promising studies, researchers now believe that art protects the brain and gives it an alternative way to function. “We noticed for instance that some of the artists lost their speech. They couldn’t talk,” he said. “But at the same time, the art was totally preserved.” For those suffering from dementia, tapping into their creativity could be a way to keep communicating with and connecting to the work around them.

The Benefits of Art on the Brain

So is there any evidence that adding more creativity into the lives of all people suffering from dementia is beneficial? Well, as we already pointed out, there are many programs that offer art classes to dementia patients, and many studies (as well as anecdotal accounts) showing that art is great for people as they age. Now, one study in Australia has even found physical evidence that art has benefits for the brains of even non-artists with dementia.

silhouette of a head in black with white puzzle pieces coming out of it
Researchers saw that those with dementia remembered details of artwork from the museum they visited.

Researchers at the University of Canberra studied participants in an Art and Dementia program at the National Gallery of Australia; these older adults with dementia spent time at the museum engaging with and discussing the artwork. The results? The researchers found that the program made a big difference in cortisol (the “stress hormone”) levels in the participants in the program; participants had lower levels after spending time at the program. High cortisol levels are often associated with more rapid cognitive decline, so this was very good news.

Not only that, but researchers were surprised to find that some of the participants could remember specific artwork, describe it in detail, and talk about what they liked about it after the program ended. They also said that they experienced less “sundowning,” or confusion that sets in later in the day. 

These results are hopeful. They are showing that art can improve quality of life for many people and can help maintain connections. The words of some of the participants of the Art and Dementia program say it all: “I feel like me again,” said one. “It is good coming here because we all know we have the same problem so we are accepting when people … forget. I feel as though I belong somewhere.” Another participant wrote, “The only time I feel the purple cloud of my diagnosis lift is when I visit the Gallery”. Finally, one who wrote at the beginning of the program,  “I feel as though I am disappearing,” ended it reporting: “It has been so positive, I feel intelligent again.”

All of this proves that we should value art and creativity, and encourage making it a part of everyone’s lives, no matter their age. “Art opens the mind,” according to Luis Fornazzari. “It should be taught to everyone. It’s better than many medications and is as important as mathematics or history.”

“The fear of losing my mind is greater than the fear of death”: A Look At Alzheimer’s and Dementia

The thought of aging can be scary for many people. They worry about things like worsening health conditions, limited abilities, or losing friends and family members. The things that people seem to fear the most are Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. According to studies, over half of Americans aged 50-80 are worried about developing one of these conditions

While these conditions are serious – and scary – they are not an inevitable part of aging, and fixating on them too much can have a negative impact on your life. In fact, researchers at Heidelberg University’s department of Psychological Aging Research report that a frequent fear of dementia can cause people to feel less satisfied with their lives, and can negatively impact their ageing experience. Being informed, though, is always a good thing. Knowing the realities and risks of these conditions can help to calm your fears and remind you to take steps toward prevention.

The Facts

man with question bubbles in front of him

Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are serious conditions that all affect cognitive function,  but the terms are not interchangeable. Dementia is not a disease, but a syndrome: a cluster of symptoms, with multiple potential causes. Dementia is caused by damage to or loss of brain cells and nerve cells, due to genetic mutations, traumatic brain injury, or other diseases like Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease. Depending on where in the brain the damage occurs, different symptoms can present. Symptoms of dementia include

  • Memory loss
  • Struggling to find words or to communicate
  • Issues with spatial awareness and visual abilities, such as getting lost or not recognizing familiar places
  • Difficulty with logic or problem solving
  • Difficulty with planning and organizing
  • Impaired coordination or motor function
  • Confusion and disorientation, or even hallucinations
  • Personality changes, such as depression, anger, or paranoia 

Alzheimer’s is a disease that falls under the umbrella of dementia. While scientists and doctors are still not completely sure why people develop Alzheimer’s, they believe that it is caused by plaque and clumps of protein (known as “tangles”) damaging healthy neurons and neural connections, which results in dementia. 

blue bars going up next to each other with an arrow pointing across the bars
Someone in the world is diagnosed with dementia every 3 seconds, making it the 6th leading cause of death in the US.

 

 

The Numbers

  • Someone in the world is diagnosed with dementia every 3 seconds
  • 58% of people with dementia live in developing countries
  • 22% of all PCPs have not had residency training in dementia diagnosis and care
  • 5.8 million people in the United States live with Alzheimer’s disease
  • 81% of people with Alzheimer’s are age 85 or older
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States

The Risks

There are significant risk factors associated with dementia, though much about the syndrome is still unknown. People living in developing countries are at the greatest risk, but nobody really knows for sure why people in these countries suffer from dementia at a higher rate. In general, there are three risk factors that can’t be changed: age, because the risk increases exponentially after age 65; family history, as there seems to be a genetic connection; and Down syndrome, as many people with Down syndrome develop early onset Alzheimer’s disease. There are other risk factors, though, that we can work on, including:

  • Diet: No specific diet is shown to reduce dementia risk, but research has found greater incidences of dementia in people with unhealthy diets as compared to those who follow diets rich in produce, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, like the Mediterranean diet. 
  • Exercise: Research shows that lack of exercise increases the risk of dementia.
  • Alcohol use: Some studies have shown that moderate amounts of alcohol may have a protective effect against dementia, but also that excessive consumption of alcohol increases risk of dementia.blood pressure machine with high numbers on it.
  • Cardiovascular health: factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, or excess fats in your artery walls, and obesity all contribute to an elevated risk of dementia.
  • Depression: While this connection is not yet well understood, there are studies that link late-life depression and dementia.
  • Diabetes: Untreated or poorly controlled diabetes may increase dementia risk.  Smoking: Smoking increases your risk of developing dementia and vascular diseases.
  • Sleep apnea: People who snore and have episodes where they frequently stop breathing while asleep may have reversible memory loss.
  • Vitamin and nutritional deficiencies. Low levels of vitamin D, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate may increase your risk of dementia.

The Solution

The unfortunate reality is that there is no treatment for or way to reverse dementia and Alzheimers. There are, however, steps we can take earlier in life to help prevent these conditions. The researchers at Heidelberg University mention

older asian man and woman smiling with the mans arm around the woman's shoulder
Exercising regularly and staying social can help reduce the risk of dementia.

ed above found that folks who were afraid of dementia were also likely to engage in positive preventative behaviors, such as:

All of these measures have been found to have some impact on dementia outcomes as well as to contribute to healthy aging. 

Alzheimers and dementia are serious conditions. But this doesn’t mean that we have to live in fear. The overall incidence of dementia is low in this country, and many who develop the disease are able to live the rest of their life in comfort and joy. There are steps we can take to decrease the risk of dementia, and the first step starts with awareness and education. If you have concerns about your own health or that of a loved one, the first step is to talk with your trusted primary care physician and ask for a referral to a dementia specialist. A specialist can help evaluate your risk, recommend intervention and prevention strategies, and come up with a plan to keep you safe and healthy.