If this is to be the “Decade of Healthy Ageing,” treatments and support for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRDs) need to scale up now

Illustration of profile of a person's head with puzzle pieces

The United Nations has declared that we are now in the “UN Decade of Healthy Ageing” (2021-2030) as a way to address the challenges that accompany increasing global life expectancy. Two researchers affiliated with the Harvard Pop Center (David Bloom and Benjamin Seligman) are among the authors of this piece published on voxeu.org that cites the rapidly developed COVID-19 vaccine as proof that complex health crises can be successfully tackled.…

Adult cancer survivors found to have better memory function both before and after cancer diagnosis

The findings of this new study published in JAMA Network Open could make a valuable contribution in the quest to prevent Alzheimer’s as it could lead to insight into a common pathological process in the illnesses. Authors include Harvard Pop Center faculty member M. Maria Glymour and recent Bell Fellow Lindsay Kobayashi. Other authors of the study are: Monica Ospina-Romer, Ekland Abdiwahab, Teresa Filshtein, Willa D. Brenowitz, and Elizabeth R.…

Harvard Pop Center awarded grant by NIA to further research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias among older adults in rural South Africa

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has awarded the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (HCPDS) a five-year grant to further its research on a rapidly growing, under-studied, at-risk population—older adults in rural South Africa— by honing in on the social and biological risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). The Cognitive Function, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in the HAALSI Cohort study is a collaboration with Witwatersrand…

Does timing of socioeconomic status (SES) impact late-life memory function and decline differently?

Researchers have found that early- and later-life SES has an impact on late-life memory in differing ways. The study is published in the American Journal of Epidemiology by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health doctoral student Jessica Marden, along with Harvard Pop Center faculty members Ichiro Kawachi and M. Maria Glymour. Image credit: Nazrul Islam Ripon on Wikimedia Commons

Possible molecular link to stroke and dementia may be associated with level of social support

Harvard Pop Center Director Lisa Berkman, PhD, and faculty member Joel Salinas, MD, are among the authors on a paper published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions that reveals that those with more social support were found to have higher serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is linked to reduced risk of dementia and stroke in certain subsets. Photo: Patrick on Flickr

How does living among more peers as an older adult impact cognitive function?

Esther Friedman, PhD, a former Harvard RWJF Health & Society Scholar, is lead author on a study in which she and her colleagues explore the impact of living in a neighborhood with a higher percentage of older adults on cognitive function. The researchers found that those who live with a higher percentage of older adults had better cognitive function, although the neighborhood age structure did not seem to impact cognitive decline.…

Exercise can delay nursing home admission for those at risk of dementia

Harvard Pop Center faculty member Maria Glymour, PhD, is an author on a paper published in Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics that explores whether modifiable risk factors. like smoking, exercise and alcohol consumption, can delay nursing home admission among those suffering from the cognitive impairment associated with initial stages of dementia. Photo: Dax Ward on flickr

Novel use of genetic variants may shed light on link between education level & dementia in older age

A study published in the journal Annals of Epidemiology by Harvard Pop Center affiliated researchers including Ichiro Kawachi, Sze Yan Liu, and Maria Glymour introduces the use of genetic variants as instruments to help identify the causal effect of educational attainment on dementia risk. The study, based on instrumental variable (IV) analyses, suggests education is protective against risk of dementia in older adulthood. Photo credit: dcJohn