The percent of older US adults with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, declined from 11.6 percent in 2000 to 8.8 percent in 2012, a decrease of nearly a quarter, scientists reported on Monday.
Why it matters:
It had been thought that the baby boomers’ march toward old age would triple the number of Alzheimer’s patients by 2050. These new numbers not only portend a lesser burden on the health care system (and families) but also suggest that something has changed over the generations — and identifying that change could drive down dementia rates even further.
You’ll want to know:
That’s a significant decline: If the rate of dementia in 2012 had been what it was in 2000, “there would be well more than 1 million additional people with dementia,” said John Haaga, director of the National Institute on Aging’s behavioral and social research, who was not involved in the study. As it is, an estimated …