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February 2017

Dementia Research—A Roadmap for the Next Decade

Author Affiliations
  • 1Neuromuscular Diseases Research Section, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 2Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville
JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(2):141-142. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.5004

The last decade has seen extraordinary advances in our understanding of dementia. Unfortunately, much of this hard won science points to dementia being a complex problem. For example, genetic studies tell us that dementia is a heterogeneous group of diseases rather than a single clinical entity as we had previously thought. Epidemiological studies report a surprising decline in the occurrence of dementia, most likely due to improved lifestyle and cardiac health among the general population.1 This decline illustrates the multifactorial nature of dementia and, importantly, shows that at least a portion of it is amenable to intervention and preventive measures.