KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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How Can You Avoid Dementia? Experts Say Control Blood Pressure And Stay Active

Other tips include targeted brain-training, but overall a U.S. panel of 17 experts finds few effective strategies for preventing Alzheimer's and age-related dementia.

USA Today: These Few Things May Help Stave Off Dementia, Scientists Say
Scientists think there may be a few things you can do to keep dementia at bay: train your brain, keep your blood pressure under control and stay active. According to a report published Thursday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), there is promising evidence that cognitive training, managing your blood pressure if you have hypertension and increasing your physical activity may help prevent age-related cognitive decline and dementia. (Toy, 6/22)

Los Angeles Times: To Preserve Mental Acuity Into Old Age, Experts Suggest Focusing On These Three Things
In drawing its qualified conclusions, the panel cited research released last summer suggesting that a program of highly targeted brain-training reduced the risk of cognitive decline or dementia by nearly half over 10 years. It cited a wide range of findings that link dementia to conditions — such as hypertension, diabetes and stroke — in which the health of blood vessels large and small is compromised. And it touted a welter of research that has linked sedentary lifestyles to a wide range of ills, and higher levels of physical fitness with better physical, cognitive and mental health. (Healy, 6/22)

Stat: Few Strategies Work To Prevent Dementia, Experts Say
To anyone who’s aware that efforts to develop Alzheimer’s drug treatments have met failure after failure, and to have therefore decided that prevention is the only hope, a U.S. panel of experts issued a sobering message on Thursday: Don’t count on it. From physical activity to avoiding high blood pressure to brain training, a 17-member committee assembled by the National Academies of Sciences concluded, no interventions are “supported by high-strength evidence.” Instead, some high-quality studies found that one or another intervention worked, but other equally rigorous studies found they didn’t. (Begley, 6/22)

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