NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — This past year has been a productive and promising year for Alzheimer’s research.

According to a news release, the research included new discoveries related to causes, risk factors, and treatment.

The Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota chapter has five very important things that were found during the 2022 year.

  1. Alzheimer’s treatments are getting better. Pharmaceutical companies announced positive results from their global Phase 3 clinical trial of an Alzheimer’s drug called lecanemab, slowing the rate of cognitive decline in study participants.
  2. A daily multivitamin may slow down brain aging. Research published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association found that taking a multivitamin-mineral supplement resulted in a statistically significant cognitive benefit.
  3. Frozen pizza, candy, and soda could raise the risk of cognitive decline. At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), new research results found that eating a large amount of ultra-processed food can significantly accelerate cognitive decline.
  4. Experiencing racism is linked to poor memory. Also at AAIC 2022, researchers reported that experiences of structural, interpersonal, and institutional racism are associated with lower memory scores and worse cognition in midlife and old age.
  5. Hearing aids may reduce the risk of dementia. Individuals with hearing loss who used hearing restorative devices had a 19% decrease in risk of long-term cognitive decline.

Advancements are happening, but the major impact of Alzheimer’s remains.

Deaths from heart disease went down 7.4% over 20 years, but deaths from Alzheimer’s increased by 14.5%.

This past year, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will be costing the country $321 billion.

“With several FDA decisions expected on Alzheimer’s treatments in 2023, this is a very exciting time in the fight to end this disease,” said Alzheimer’s Association Senior Health Systems Director, Lisa Groon. “Thanks to increased research funding from the federal government and nonprofits we’re hopeful that the new year will bring more advances and discoveries for people living with, and at risk for, Alzheimer’s and other dementia.”