Live Smart

New Findings Give More Reason to Improve Your Heart Health

New Findings Give More Reason to Improve Your Heart Health

New results from the Framingham Heart Study reinforce a reassuring trend—the risk of dementia is decreasing for many older people.

The Framingham Heart Study has been tracking the health and well-being of several thousand people in Framingham, Massachusetts, since 1948. It found that over the past 30 years, the risk of dementia has been going down by almost 20 percent every decade.

There are two likely reasons why. First, earlier detection and better treatment for cardiovascular disease may be reducing damage to the brain from vascular diseases. Second, more education may be helping individuals build a cognitive reserve that can help delay the onset of dementia and disability.

Dementia is a frightening and uncompromising condition. Existing treatments are inadequate and no “magic bullet” is available to protect us. These new results remind us, however, that there is hope on the horizon. And you can make choices today to reduce your risks. Take the first steps to protect your cognitive vitality and support the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation in our work to rapidly accelerate the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat, and cure Alzheimer's and related dementias.

Photo: Sam Greenhalgh

Dr. Penny Dacks was previously the Director of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention at the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation. She was trained in neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the University of Arizona, and Queen's University (Canada) with individual fellowships from the National Institute of Health, the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Foundation, the ARCS Foundation and the Hilda and Preston Davis Foundation. She has authored over 18 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Gerontological Society of America, the Endocrine Society and the Association for Women in Science.

Get the latest brain health news: