• 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!

  • 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.

    Find out more info and deadline dates

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

    "Meaningful Conversations throughout the Course of Illness"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)


    For November/December 2019 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

Slowing Memory Decline

Setting Goals to Be More Active Slows Memory Decline in Older African Americans

Older African Americans with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who got help setting goals to be more socially, physically, or cognitively active had slower memory decline than those who did not receive such help, concludes a National Institute on Aging-funded study published in JAMA Neurology.

The results point to a possible way to reduce dementia risk in African Americans, who are more likely than Whites to develop the condition.

Past studies suggest that a more active lifestyle may help prevent cognitive decline, but few of these studies have included African Americans. MCI often, but not always, leads to memory loss and other signs of dementia.

In the study by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, 221 African Americans 65 and older with MCI (average age, 76 years; 79% female) were randomly assigned to one of two interventions, and 164 completed the trial. One group received “behavioral activation,” in which community health workers helped them choose goals to be more active, then develop step-by-step action plans. Goals included, for example, relearning how to play chess or rejoining a church group. The control group received “supportive therapy,” conversations with community health workers that did not involve setting goals. Both groups had 11 one-on-one, in-home sessions with African-American community health workers, with each session lasting 1 hour, over 2 years.

After 2 years, the behavioral-activation group participated in significantly more cognitive activities, the researchers found. There were no differences in physical or social activity levels. Both groups had memory decline, measured by performance on a standard memory test, but the behavioral-activation group declined by just 1.2%, compared with 9.3% for the control group. In addition, behavioral activation was associated with stable everyday function and improved executive function.

The study provides evidence that a behavioral intervention can slow memory decline in older African Americans at risk for dementia. Although several factors may influence cognitive decline in this population, it’s possible that planning a more active lifestyle could reduce the disparity in dementia risk between African Americans and Whites.

To learn more, see Rovner, B.W. et al. (2018). Preventing cognitive decline in black individuals with mild cognitive impairment: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Neurology. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.2513. Published online Sept. 10, 2018.

Related Topic 1: 

GAPNA Newsletter Issue: 

VIEW ALL ARTICLES: