5 Important Things Learned in 2022 about Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia
- A new drug to help slow cognitive impairment! Positive progress is gained from the global phase 3 clinical trial of Lecanemab, a drug showing results in slowing the rate of cognitive decline. The FDA approved the drug January 6, 2023. Now the battle is on for Medicare to assist with the cost of the drug to individuals. The estimated annual out of pocket expense for the new medication is $25,000 per year. The Alzheimer Association has been a leader in funding research for Alzheimer’s and other dementia, advocating for government funding and approvals for treatments showing promise to slow cognitive decline.
- Daily multi-vitamins may slow brain aging. Multi-vitamin-mineral supplements taken for three years consistently resulted in statistically significant cognitive decline. The research is published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia; The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
- A sweet tooth may raise the risk of cognitive decline. The JAMA Neurology article published December 2022 indicates ice cream, candy and soda as well eating large amounts of ultra processed foods raise the risk of cognitive decline. Limiting ice cream, cookies, cake, soda and overall sugar will reduce not only cognitive decline but help cholesterol and blood pressure measures. What are ultra processed foods? Lunchmeat, chips, crackers, salty snacks, beloved French fries, frozen pizza and frozen meals, hot dogs, salamis, bacon.
- Experiencing racism is linked to memory decline. Experiences of structural, interpersonal and institutional racism are associated with decreasing cognition and memory, especially in black individuals.
- Hearing aids reduce the risk of dementia. Individuals who have hearing difficulties tend to isolate themselves, have depression, and withdraw socially. According to John Hopkins University Medical Center, “brain scans show that hearing loss may contribute to a faster rate of brain atrophy.“ The FDA has agreed to allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter, expanding access to individuals with hearing difficulties.
Kellie Danielson is a frequent blogger sharing information for educational purposes about dementia and cognitive decline. As an in-home care advisor with Loyal Care In-Home Assistance, Kellie is an active volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association.