• 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference: Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older AdultsJoin us at the 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference:
    Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults

    April 14-18, 2020, Honolulu, HI.

    Earn up to 18 CNE hours.

     

    Find out more about it and REGISTER today!

  • W A N T E D   G A P N A   L E A D E R S!
    Call for Nominations!

    Have you ever considered stepping forward, accepting the challenge and volunteering for a position on the 2020-21 National Board of Directors? Register online NOW by March 22, 2020!

    Step Up - NOW is the Time! Register Here>

  • AwardNew for GAPNA members: MCM Education

    GAPNA has partnered with a MCM Education to offer an ongoing series of CNE programs available to GAPNA members. "Diagnosing and Managing Parkinson’s Disease in Older Adults," is the latest program offered.

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by both motor and nonmotor symptoms. It is diagnosed based on the presence of two of four motor symptoms including rest tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and gait imbalance...

    Find out about it!

  • ConventionCALL FOR: Podium and Poster Abstracts

    For the 38th GAPNA Annual Conference
    at the Hyatt Regency
    New Orleans, LA, September 24-26, 2020

    GAPNA members are invited to submit an abstract about their innovative work, that should enrich the APRN's knowledge and/or enhance the care of an older adult. Deadline March 15, 2020.

    Find out more info and deadline dates

  • FREE CE for GAPNA MembersFREE continuing education credit is available for the following session:

    "Update in Chronic Kidney Disease Management and Prescribing"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)


    For January/February 2020 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

Social Contact

Frequent Social Contact in Midlife May Reduce Dementia Risk

Frequent social contact – regularly seeing friends and family – during midlife was associated with a lower likelihood of dementia diagnosis in later life (Sommerlad et al., 2019).

Being socially engaged may require greater activity in areas of the brain that contribute to language and memory, which in turn may account for better cognitive health.

Researchers at the University College London and INSERM in Paris analyzed data collected during the Whitehall II study from more than 10,000 British civil servants. Data were collected over 28 years, starting when the participants were middle aged.

The participants responded to periodic questionnaires about social contact frequency and took tests of verbal memory, verbal fluency, and reasoning. The researchers also obtained dementia diagnoses from the participants’ electronic health records.

The main outcome of the study was that adults who reported frequent social contact in middle age were less likely to receive a dementia diagnosis (Sommerlad et al., 2019). This effect seemed to be stronger for participants who reported frequent interactions with friends than for those who reported social contact only with family members.

Statistical analyses revealed that more frequent social contact at age 60 seemed to be associated with a greater reduction in subsequent dementia diagnosis than contact at either age 50 or age 70.

More frequent midlife social contact with friends, rather than relatives, was also linked with increased levels of cognitive performance. Researchers commented that the association between social contact frequency, reduced dementia risk, and better cognitive performance may be a result of social contact improving cognitive reserve and thereby reducing dementia risk.

Cognitive reserve may explain how some older adults can retain relatively normal thinking and memory abilities despite the presence of age-related brain changes.

Prior studies showed people who have infrequent social connections may have a higher risk of dementia, but most of these studies were smaller in size and shorter in duration. In contrast, Whitehall II is one of the largest studies with the longest follow-up on the effects of social contact on dementia.

Nevertheless, it is important to replicate these findings with other studies, especially in people who more closely reflect the diversity of the U.S. population.

Reference

Join your friends in Honolulu, Hawaii at the 2020 GAPNA Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults Conference on April 14-18, 2020.

Learn more and register today!