June 19, 2017

New Report Examines Recent Evidence on Interventions to Prevent Cognitive Decline and Dementia

Many organizations and individuals worldwide are interested in the state of the science on preventing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, mild cognitive impairment, and age-related cognitive decline.  A review published in 2010 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and an associated “state of the science” conference at the National Institutes of Health both concluded that there was insufficient evidence to make recommendations about interventions to prevent cognitive decline and dementia.  Since then, understanding of the processes that result in dementia has advanced significantly, and a number of clinical trials of potential preventive interventions have been completed and published.

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines the most recent evidence – including evidence since the previous National Academies report Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action – on preventive factors and interventions associated with decreasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s-type dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and age-related cognitive impairment and makes recommendations to inform public health strategies and messaging, as well as areas for future research.  The committee’s work will be based on a systematic review commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the evidence on interventions associated with preventing, slowing, or delaying the onset of clinical Alzheimer’s-type dementia and mild cognitive impairment, and delaying or slowing age-related cognitive impairment. 


Advance copies of Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward will be available to reporters only beginning at 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 21.  The report is embargoed and not for public release before 9 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 22.  To obtain an embargoed copy of the report, reporters should contact the Academies’ Office of News and Public Information; tel. 202-334-2138 or email news@nas.edu.