Alzheimer's Disease and Dementias

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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.

Explore Alzheimer's Disease and Dementias

  • Elderly woman with her caregiver at home

    Journal Article

    Informal Caregiving for Dementia in the U.S.

    Family members play a critical role in caring for older adults with and without dementia. In 2010, 5.5 million U.S. adults age 70 and older received informal care, including 3.6 million with cognitive impairment or dementia.

    Oct 20, 2015

  • Report

    Report

    A Review of the Dementia Research Landscape and Workforce Capacity in the United Kingdom

    This report, commissioned by the Alzheimer's Society, aims to inform funding and capacity-building efforts in UK dementia research by examining the current research and workforce landscape, and associated strengths and gaps.

    Sep 14, 2015

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: September-October 2015

    This issue of RAND Review reports on the staggering costs of dementia in the United States; the most critical global choices and challenges the next U.S. president will likely face; tips to protect the health of kids heading back to school; and more.

    Aug 21, 2015

  • Michael Reyes with his mother, Eleanor, who suffers from dementia

    Essay

    Struggling with Dementia

    The costs of dementia are staggering. A recent RAND analysis quantifies the scope of the problem in the United States and serves as a wake-up call to policymakers everywhere.

    Aug 10, 2015

  • Doctor looking at CAT scan

    Report

    Learning from Medical Breakthroughs to Improve Treatment for Dementia

    Medical breakthroughs have enabled the effective treatment of some conditions, like certain cancers and HIV, transforming them from fatal into manageable. Better understanding of the particular social, economic, political, legislative, and scientific contexts that have contributed to accelerating progress in treatments could inform dementia research.

    Aug 4, 2015

  • Elderly Hispanic Man

    Journal Article

    Neighbourhood Racial/Ethnic Composition and Segregation and Trajectories of Cognitive Decline Among U.S. Older Adults

    This study demonstrates disparities in the progression of cognitive ageing according to racial/ethnic characteristics of the neighbourhood environment.

    Jun 3, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Dementia Care Management in an Underserved Community: The Comparative Effectiveness of Two Different Approaches

    Compares the effectiveness and costs of telephone-only approach to in-person plus telephone for delivering an evidence-based, coordinated care management program for dementia.

    Feb 19, 2015

  • Patricia Boyle presenting at the 2014 RAND Summer Institute

    Multimedia

    Cognitive Aging, Neuropathology, and Resilience

    Session from the 21st Annual RAND Summer Institute, held July 7-11, 2014, in Santa Monica, CA, addressing critical issues facing our aging population.

    Sep 8, 2014

  • An elderly man getting served a meal by his daughter

    Commentary

    Meeting the Caregivers Challenge

    Ill or injured military personnel and veterans and people with dementia are unique populations, but they give us a preview of the enormous long-term care challenges Americans will face in the decades to come.

    Aug 25, 2014

  • 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

  • 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

  • News Release

    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

  • 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 22, 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 22, 2014

  • Infographic

    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

    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