Maria College professor helping develop national goal on Alzheimer’s risk reduction

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In this Aug. 14, 2019 photo provided by the University of Kentucky, Donna Wilcock, of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, holds a brain in her lab in Lexington, Ky. She says that contrary to popular perception, “there are a lot of changes that happen in the aging brain that lead to dementia in addition to plaques and tangles.” (Mark Cornelison/University of Kentucky via AP)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Maria College Associate Professor for Ethics and Health Policy Dr. David Hoffman played a large part in developing a new national goal to reduce the risk of Americans getting Alzheimer’s disease. The goal was initially announced by the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra on December 27, and will be described in detail for the first time Wednesday, January 5 in a stakeholder briefing.

Hoffman was a founding member of the Federal Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services of HHS. The professor also served on the subcommittee that developed the goal of risk reduction and healthy aging.

“This addition recognizes that the way we live our lives can have an impact on the type of life we live,” said Hoffman. “Healthy eating, regular physical activity, and moderation in lifestyle can all help us avoid or postpone late-life challenges like dementia.”

The Advisory Council also recommended that this goal aims for a 15% reduction in the prevalence of 10 key risk factors by 2030. These risk factors include depression, diabetes, hearing loss, mid-life hypertension, physical inactivity, poor diet quality and obesity, poor sleep quality and sleep disorders, tobacco use, traumatic brain injury, and unhealthy alcohol use. 

Also under the plan’s new goal, the federal government will accelerate research on risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and strengthen the infrastructure that is necessary to rapidly translate and disseminate information about risk factors for the diseases.

A plan update can be found on the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation’s website.

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