• 2019 Senior Report Senior Report: Older Americans have more options for home care, but still struggling.

    The United Health Foundation has released results of a sweeping new study benchmarking the health of older adults. The America's Health Rankings® Senior Report was created in partnership with GAPNA to improve the health of America's seniors.

    The data will help advanced practice nurses and other providers deliver quality care.

    Find out about it!

  • 38th Annual GAPNA Conference

    October 3-5, 2019 at the Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, NV.

    Focused education; lasting connections, networking, free access to the GAPNA Online Library.

    Earn up to 22 contact hours (including pre-conference workshops).

    Get more information and register now!

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

    "Contemporary Heart Failure Management"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)


    For May/June 2019 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

  • 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!

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: