Arkansas Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias (AADRD)
Defining Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
What are Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias?
- Alzheimer’s disease involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. It is a progressive disease beginning with mild memory loss and possibly leading to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment.
- Alzheimer’s is a specific disease. Dementia is not.
- Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of dementia cases.
- Though the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is increasing age, the disease is not a normal part of aging.
- Although most people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older, approximately 200,000 Americans under 65 are living with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
- Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.
- Dementia describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, reasoning, or other thinking skill.
- Dementia is not a normal part of aging • Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia, but there are many kinds:
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
- Lewy Body Dementia
- Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease
- Frontotemporal Dementia
- Huntington's Disease
- Mixed Dementia
- Normal Pressure
- Posterior Cortical Atrophy
- Parkinson's Disease Dementia
- Vascular Dementia
- Korsakoff Syndrome
Alzheimer’s in Arkansas
- One out of three seniors who die annually is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
- Alzheimer’s disease was the 4th leading cause of death among Arkansans aged 65 years and older compared to the national rank as the 5th leading cause of death in 2018.
- Arkansas ranked 23rd among states for Alzheimer’s disease mortality in 2013, however, moved up to 13th in 2018, indicating more Arkansans aged 65 years and older are succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease over time.
Take Brain Health to Heart
What’s good for your heart and blood vessels is also good for your brain. Recent studies have shown that risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as physical inactivity and obesity, also contribute to conditions such as memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and reduced cognitive ability. Older adults with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are more likely than other older adults to have multiple chronic conditions, and Alzheimer’s complicates the management of these conditions, resulting in increased hospitalizations and costs. The good news is that there are steps you can take that will help your heart and your brain.
10 Ways to Help Improve Your Brain Health
- Don’t Use Tobacco
- Be Physically Active
- Eat a Healthy Diet
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Get Enough Sleep
- Stay Engaged
- Prevent and Manage High Blood Pressure
- Prevent and Manage High Cholesterol
- Manage Blood Sugar
- If You Drink, Do So in Moderation
Although age, genetics, and family history cannot be changed, other risk factors can be changed or modified to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. In fact, the 2020 recommendations of The Lancet Commission on Dementia prevention, intervention and care suggest that addressing modifiable risk factors might prevent or delay up to 40% of dementia cases
The Importance of Caregivers
- About one in three Alzheimer’s caregivers report their health has gotten worse due to care responsibilities.
- Increased risk of stress, depression, unhealthy behaviors, and poor attention to their own health.
- Caregivers of people with dementia with diabetes or osteoporosis were 2.6 and 2.3 times more likely, respectively, to report emotional difficulties with care compared with caregivers of people with dementia who did not have these co-occurring conditions.
What are we doing at the Arkansas Department of Health?
The Arkansas Department of Health is an awarded recipient of the CDC Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, Public Law 115-406, for Public Health Programs to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (CDC-RFA-20-2004). BOLD funding is being used to:
- Increase the number of stakeholders engaged in state-wide AADRD collaboration.
- Promote education about the importance of risk reduction (primary prevention), early diagnosis (secondary prevention), prevention and management of comorbidities, avoidable hospitalizations (tertiary prevention), and the role of the caregiver.
- Increase healthcare professional education about the importance of all three levels of prevention, and the importance of caregivers as a vital part of the healthcare team.
- Increase the number and types of health communications with the integration of brain health and dementia risk.
- What are Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias?
- Providers in Arkansas
- Community Resource Manual
- Alzheimer’s Association
- CDC-Healthy Brain Resource Center
- Arkansas State Plan 2021-2025
- AARP-Family Caring
- UAMS- Center on Aging
- Alzheimer’s Arkansas
Jarriel Moore, BA, CBT, CHC
BOLD Program Manager