Alzheimer's Disease and Dementias

Featured

Dementia causes serious loss of cognitive ability, including memory, communication and language, reason and judgment, and visual perception. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form, but all dementias go beyond the normal signs of aging to interfere with daily life, affecting millions of people each year. RAND experts analyze long-term care options and effectiveness, as well as how dementia impacts caregivers, society, and the economy.

  • An older couple reading on a porch

    Journal Article

    Dementia Is More Prevalent Among Rural Seniors

    Dec 20, 2017

    A nationally representative study of 16,000 U.S. seniors is the first to show that dementia and cognitive impairment are more common among rural seniors than their urban peers. However, rural investments in boosting high school graduation rates have narrowed the gap.

  • Elderly man with chin on his fist, looking out a sunny window

    Report

    U.S. Health System Should Prepare for Future Alzheimer's Treatments

    Nov 15, 2017

    The U.S. health care system isn't ready to meet demand for a breakthrough Alzheimer's treatment. Results from clinical trials are producing guarded optimism that a breakthrough could arrive as early as 2020. If this happens, up to 2.1 million patients could develop Alzheimer's dementia by 2040 while on treatment and evaluation waiting lists.

Explore Alzheimer's Disease and Dementias

  • U.S. Capitol building with summer flowers

    Blog

    Summer Reading for Congress

    No matter how policymakers spend their break—meeting with home-state constituents, traveling abroad with congressional delegations, or spending time with family—this summer reading list contains policy ideas that can help them hit the ground running when they return.

    Jul 31, 2014

  • A son, father, and grandfather fishing from a dock

    Commentary

    Demographics Add Urgency for Action on Dementia Long-Term Care

    Dementia takes a huge toll on those afflicted with it but also has major consequences for those who must care for them. More than 15 million Americans provide care for loved ones with dementia—tending to their daily, routine needs and ensuring their medical needs are met.

    Jul 28, 2014

  • Man in wheelchair with caregiver, sitting by a lake

    Commentary

    Parallel Caregiver Crises, Military and Civilian

    Among American caregivers, there are two expanding populations: those caring for military servicemembers struggling with physical or emotional wounds of war and those looking after people with dementia. Both face incalculable financial stresses and threats to their own health as a result of their caregiving roles.

    Jul 9, 2014

  • News Release

    Improving Dementia Long-Term Care: RAND Offers Policy Blueprint to Assist Millions

    As millions of Americans struggle to help loved ones with dementia, policymakers should consider more ways to improve long-term services and supports for the soaring numbers of people with the debilitating condition and their caregivers.

    Jun 23, 2014

  • old hands on walking stick

    Project

    Dementia Blueprint

    Annual costs of dementia exceed those of cancer and heart disease and will only continue to rise as the nation's population ages. Key policy options can help strengthen and improve long-term services and supports for those with dementia and their caregivers.

    Jun 23, 2014

  • losing brain function, tree with leaves falling

    Research Brief

    What Can Be Done About Dementia?

    Policy options to improve dementia long-term care include those that increase public awareness and promote earlier detection, improve access to and quality of services, increase support to family caregivers, and reduce the cost burden.

    Jun 23, 2014

  • Woman walking with and guiding her elderly grandmother

    Report

    Improving Dementia Long-Term Care: A Policy Blueprint

    As millions of Americans struggle to help loved ones with dementia, policymakers should consider more ways to improve long-term services and supports for the soaring number of people with the debilitating condition and their caregivers.

    Jun 23, 2014

  • Infographic

    Dementia's Mounting Toll on the U.S. Economy

    Dementia costs Americans hundreds of billions of dollars per year, and the annual cost could top half a trillion by 2040 due to the 'graying' of the U.S. population.

    May 27, 2014

  • Journal Article

    Depressive Symptoms and Longitudinal Changes in Cognition: Women's Health Initiative Study of Cognitive Aging

    Elevated depressive symptoms (DS) are associated with incident mild cognitive impairment and probable dementia in postmenopausal women.

    May 19, 2014

  • son caring for his elderly mother

    Testimony

    The Monetary Costs of Dementia in the United States

    The average annual market cost attributable to dementia is estimated to be $28,501: $13,900 for nursing-home care, $6,200 for out-of-pocket expenditure, and $5,700 for formal home care; Medicare spent $2,700 of the total.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at the G8 Dementia Summit

    Commentary

    A Global Focus on Dementia

    The Group of 8 industrial nations is convening a special session to seek an international approach to dementia research at a time the disease is being recognized as a 21st century global health crisis of historic proportions.

    Dec 11, 2013

  • worried senior couple

    Report

    Central Nervous System Diseases Are Becoming “Neglected” Diseases

    Market forces are stacking the deck against development of drugs for common central nervous system disorders, such as Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and depression. But policy changes could steer investment into drugs for these neglected diseases by reducing development cost and uncertainty and increasing expected revenue.

    Dec 11, 2013

  • A younger man helping an elderly man who is using a walker

    Solution

    Planning for the Rising Costs of Dementia

    Dementia is a chronic disease of aging that reduces cognitive function, leaving people unable to tend to even their most basic, everyday needs. A RAND-led research team developed the most precise estimate to date of the economic burden of the disease.

    Nov 20, 2013

  • Young woman and grandfather sitting hand in hand at table

    Commentary

    Dementia's Growing Cost to Caregivers

    At the rate that the U.S. population is aging, the total cost of dementia could reach half a trillion dollars a year by 2040. Those who care for impaired relatives and friends are acutely aware of the effects of dementia, and unfortunately they are all too familiar with its costs, writes Kathleen J. Mullen.

    Apr 29, 2013

  • an elderly couple, man possibly with dementia

    Journal Article

    Cost of Dementia Tops $159 Billion Annually in the United States

    The monetary cost of dementia in the United States ranges from $159 billion to $215 billion annually, making the disease more costly to the nation than either heart disease or cancer. The greatest cost is associated with providing institutional and home-based long-term care rather than medical services.

    Apr 1, 2013

  • Report

    Funding and performance on clinical guidelines: The cases of dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    This exploratory study investigates the characteristics of publications cited on clinical guidelines, and the funding sources they acknowledge, in order to better understand how research is translated into changes in policy and practice.

    Mar 22, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Assessment and Management of Patients with Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Primary Care

    Findings from this small study should be replicated in larger studies to stimulate interventions that will improve the initial and ongoing treatment of older persons with cognitive impairment.

    Jan 1, 2012

  • senior,couple,motor home,rv,travel,retirement,active,vacation,holiday,real people,husband,wife,male,female,man,woman,transportation,married,recreational,vehicle,bus,tour,tourist,luxury,retired,elderly,old,happy,smiling,portrait,enjoyment,recreation,leisure,lifestyle,seventy,sixty,casual,love,togetherness,affection,holding hands

    Multimedia

    Conference Addresses Relationship Between Health, Aging, and Human Capital

    The RAND Bing Center for Health Economics, RAND Labor and Population, and the Journal of Human Capital held a two-day Conference on Health, Aging, and Human Capital. Speakers included RAND's Nicole Maestas, NYU's Michael Grossman, and Harvard's David Wise; all conference videos are available online.

    Dec 2, 2011

  • Journal Article

    Atypical Antipsychotics May Aid Symptoms for Some Off-Label Conditions, but Not Others

    Evidence supports the effectiveness of some atypical antipsychotics in reducing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and behavioral symptoms in elderly patients with dementia. There is insufficient evidence that the medications are effective for treating eating disorders, substance abuse and insomnia.

    Sep 1, 2011

  • Elderly couple resting on a bench in the park

    Project

    Center for the Study of Aging

    The RAND Center for the Study of Aging has conducted objective, independent, interdisciplinary research on aging and the elderly for more than 20 years. It improves public policy through primary data collection as well as secondary data analysis.

    May 25, 2011