Submitted by the Alzheimer’s Association
With more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease today, researchers are working tirelessly to advance science that will lead to earlier detection, preventions and additional new treatments for Alzheimer’s and all dementia.
Recently, more than 10,000 researchers attended the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022 both in person and virtually to share the latest in Alzheimer’s and dementia science. Highlights include:
√ Another reason to move your body. Results are in from the longest-ever clinical trial of exercise in older adults with mild memory problems. After 12 months of regular physical activity – aerobic exercise or stretching – study participants experienced no significant cognitive decline.
√ Junk food might be hurting our brains. Researchers studied more than 10,000 people over eight years and found that high consumption of ultra-processed foods led to a 28% faster decline in cognitive function.
√ Racism’s impact on memory. In a study of nearly 1,000 adults, exposure to interpersonal and institutional racism was associated with lower memory scores, especially among Black individuals.
√ More long-term impacts of COVID-19. Researchers found that loss of smell due to COVID-19 infection may be a better predictor of long-term cognitive and functional impairment than severity of the illness.
√ Earning less money may increase dementia risk. Compared with workers earning higher wages, sustained low-wage earners experienced significantly faster memory decline in older age.
“There is great progress in Alzheimer’s and dementia research,” said Jill Horner, executive director of the Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. “This year at AAIC, we heard new ideas about what makes us at risk, as well as a diverse array of treatments and prevention methods for Alzheimer’s disease and all dementia. The work of the scientific community holds great promise for the future.”
The Alzheimer's Association is available with information and support for families as they navigate the disease and related research. For more information, visit alz.org or call the 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.