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Aging without Dementia is Achievable: Current Evidence from Epidemiological Research
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Shandong University, China.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm Gerontology Research Center, Sweden .
Number of Authors: 22018 (English)In: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, ISSN 1387-2877, E-ISSN 1875-8908, Vol. 62, no 3, p. 933-942Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Both the incidence and the prevalence of dementia increase exponentially with increasing age. This raises the question of whether dementia is an inevitable consequence of aging or whether aging without dementia is achievable. In this review article, we sought to summarize the current evidence from epidemiological and neuropathological studies that investigated this topic. Epidemiological studies have shown that dementia could be avoided even at extreme old ages (e.g., centenarians or supercentenarians). Furthermore, clinico-neuropathological studies found that nearly half of centenarians with dementia did not have sufficient brain pathology to explain their cognitive symptoms, while intermediate-to-high Alzheimer pathology was present in around one-third of very old people without dementia or cognitive impairment. This suggests that certain compensatory mechanisms (e.g., cognitive reserve or resilience) may play a role in helping people in extreme old ages escape dementia syndrome. Finally, evidence has been accumulating in recent years indicating that the incidence of dementia has declined in Europe and North America, which supports the view that the risk of dementia in late life is modifiable. Evidence has emerged that intervention strategies that promote general health, maintain vascular health, and increase cognitive reserve are likely to help preserve cognitive function till late life, thus achieving the goal of aging without dementia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 62, no 3, p. 933-942
Keywords [en]
Aging, Alzheimer's disease, centenarians, dementia, epidemiology, interventions
National Category
Geriatrics Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-156036DOI: 10.3233/JAD-171037ISI: 000427350400004PubMedID: 29562544OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-156036DiVA, id: diva2:1203649
Available from: 2018-05-04 Created: 2018-05-04 Last updated: 2018-05-04Bibliographically approved

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