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Research Grants - 2008


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Research Grants 2008


To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left side.

2008 Grants - Yaffe

Predictors of Mild Cognitive Impairment/Dementia Among the Oldest Old Women

Kristine Yaffe, M.D.
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California

2008 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant

The risk of cognitive impairment or dementia increases with age, but other factors also influence an individual's risk. Because the "oldest old" (defined as individuals age 85 years or older) are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, it is important to identify other risk factors for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia in this population. Although risk factors have been extensively studied in the general population, little is known about the risk factors affecting neurodegeneration in the oldest old.

Kristine Yaffe, M.D., and colleagues are studying the risk factors—in addition to age—that influence the risk of MCI and dementia in women who are in the 9th and 10th decades of life. They will use data from an epidemiologic study that has been ongoing for 20 years. The researchers will determine how many of the participants in the study have MCI or dementia, and they will measure which of these participants have specific potential risk factors, such as lack of social support, lack of physical activity, smoking, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and other factors.

Using the results of this study, Dr. Yaffe and colleagues plan to develop a model that can be used to predict which persons are more likely to develop MCI or dementia based on their risk-factor profile. Because some risk factors can be eliminated or modified, this study may help healthcare providers to identify ways to reduce an individual's risk, even if that individual is already very old.