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September is World Alzheimer's Month

Grandfather and granddaughter looking at tabletLearn more about Alzheimer’s disease.

World Alzheimer's Month 2015 focuses on learning to spot the signs of dementia and supporting loved ones who are living with dementia.

Scientists still need to learn a lot more about how to decrease the risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. In addition to genetics, they are studying the influence of diet, physical activity, education, and the environment. All of these are risk factors that might play a role in developing this disease.

Facts About Alzheimer's Disease

  • Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. It affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language.
  • Alzheimer's disease and related dementias can seriously affect a person's ability to carry out daily activities.
  • The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease increases with age, but Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging.
  • Most individuals living with Alzheimer's disease are older than 65 years. However, people younger than age 65 can develop Alzheimer's disease.
  • Scientists do not know what causes Alzheimer's disease. However, like other chronic conditions it is probably a result of multiple factors.

What You Can Do

Current efforts to learn more about Alzheimer's disease will depend, in large part, on volunteers who participate in studies. There is an urgent need for adults of all ages and health levels to participate in research. Several opportunities exist to participate in research studies, including

  • Alzheimer's Prevention Registry. Sign up to receive notices and information about prevention trials and how you can participate.
  • Alzheimer's Association Trial Match. Learn if you meet requirements for current Alzheimer's research studies and get connected with researchers.
  • Research Match. Sign up to be contacted by researchers to participate in a wide range of studies related to various health conditions and health behaviors.

Before deciding to participate in research, it is important to know about the benefits and risks to you. This link provides more information about questions to ask before participating in research.

CDC's Healthy Brain Initiative

Through its Congressionally-supported Healthy Brain Initiative, the Healthy Aging Program applies public health principles, strategies, and expertise to promote cognitive functioning and address cognitive impairment. This work is carried out in close collaboration with state and national partners. Another area of focus is the health and well-being of caregivers. This work is guided by the report, The Healthy Brain Initiative: The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013–2018.


  1. Hebert LE, Weuve J, Scherr PA, Evans, DL. Alzheimer disease in the United States (2010-2050) estimated using the 2010 census . Neurology. 2013;80(19):1778-83. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31828726f5. Epub 2013 Feb 6.
  2. Hurd MD, Martorell, P, Delavande, A, Mullen, KJ, Langa, KM. Monetary costs of dementia in the United States. NEJM . 2013;36814:1326-34. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa1204629.