Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias
What are Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias?
People with dementia have difficulty thinking, remembering, language, and problem solving in their daily life. Dementia is not a disease but a set of symptoms.1
- Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, contributing to between 60-80% of dementia cases. It develops over time in stages.1
- Other common causes of dementia include damaged blood vessels in the brain or brain tissue (vascular dementia), Lewy Body disease, and Parkinson’s disease.1
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is not a part of normal aging.
Because Alzheimer’s and some other dementias develop in stages, there are opportunities to reduce dementia risk and to start early planning and management.
Who lives with Alzheimer’s disease?
- In 2020, an estimated 99,000 Minnesotans 65 years and older had Alzheimer’s disease. The numbers will only increase over time as the population gets older.
- By 2025, the number of Minnesotans with Alzheimer’s is expected to increase 21.2% to 120,000, largely due to the state’s population aging.1 National data suggest 2020 numbers may more than double by 2060.1
The lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease for men and women is:
- One in five for women 45 years of age or older.
- One in ten for men 45 years of age or older.1
Older Non-Hispanic Black adults and Hispanic adults are more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease and are less likely to receive a formal diagnosis compared with older White adults.
- Data suggests the higher disease rates and lower diagnosis rates are due to discrimination and marginalization that Black and Hispanic people have experienced in the past and the present.1
- Additional studies are needed to better understand how common Alzheimer’s disease is among racial and ethnic groups with poor representation in research.1,2
- Additional data suggest American Indians experience higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease than non-Hispanic whites. These differences may be masked by underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis.1,3
How can we improve outcomes for dementia in Minnesota?
Reduce the risk of developing dementia
- Age and family history are important risk factors for dementia that we cannot change.
- Many risk factors for adults can be changed, including high blood pressure that is not well managed, diabetes, smoking, hearing loss, social isolation, and little or no physical activity.4
Many Dementia Risk Factors Are Common and Can Be Changed
|% of Minnesota Adults with Risk Factor
|# of Minnesota Adults with Risk Factor
|High Blood Pressure
|No Physical Activity
Learn more about reducing dementia risk by visiting Alzhemiers.gov Can I prevent dementia?
Increase screening and early diagnoses
- Diagnosing mild cognitive impairment (the earliest stage of memory loss, which may or may not become dementia) and early-stage dementia has benefits.
- These benefits include having a clearer sense of what to expect, allowing you to be more active in decision making, being able to engage your family, and being able to take advantage of new treatments as they become available. Sometimes medications or other health issues cause mild cognitive impairment and these issues can be improved.
Learn more: The Alzheimer’s Association Why Get Checked?
- In 2019, 210,000 Minnesota adults 45 years and older reported experiencing signs of cognitive decline6, which may indicate mild cognitive impairment.
- Half of those were 45-64 years of age.6
Appropriate screening and testing are needed to increase early diagnoses
- Only four in 10 Minnesotans noticing signs of cognitive decline had talked with a health care provider about it.6
- Learn more about early signs and symptoms: Alzheimer’s Association – Signs & Symptoms
Support people with dementia and manage chronic conditions
- Chronic conditions can be harder to manage when people are living with dementia.
- About two of every three Minnesota Fee-for-Service Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with dementia were living with three or more chronic conditions1, which are costly to manage.2
Learn more about how communities can support people with dementia by visiting Act on Alzheimer’s Sector Guides and Resources.
Learn about living well with dementia and how to support management of chronic conditions using NeuroWell.
Support friends, family, and other care partners for people with dementia
All care partners need support too! Caregiving can impact a care partner’s physical, mental, and financial health as well as their social support system.1 Also, when care partners have the support they need, they can provide more support to the people they care for.
Among Minnesota dementia care partners:
- Slightly more than one in three dementia reported having a history of depression.6
- Six of every 10 reported having a chronic condition.6,9
- Three of every 10 dementia reported needing additional support.10
Learn more about resources for dementia caregivers Caregiving, Alzheimer’s Association
Explore the Data
Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia in Minnesota Fact Sheet (PDF). Data and information about who lives with Alzheimer's disease in Minnesota, the risk factors for dementia, and web links to resources to support friends, family and other care partners for people with dementia.
Data stories from Minnesota
Dementia partner survey
Minnesota Dementia Partners Survey, Fall 2022 (PDF). Summary of organizations that responded to the 2022 Minnesota Dementia Partners Survey and a high-level look at different types of dementia work going on around Minnesota.
Stories from the community
Minnesota Healthy Brain Initiative Community December 2022 Forum on Dementia Needs (PDF). A summary of personal stories and experiences to better understand and co-identify community priorities around individual needs and social determinants of health for Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias. Input from this forum will help guide dementia program strategies across the state.
Other key dementia data resources
- Alzheimer’s Association Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report Comprehensive source of Alzheimer’s Disease in the US including data describing Alzheimer’s in different populations, caregiving, the dementia workforce, and use of care resource.
- Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Data Portal - National and state level data related to caregiving, subjective cognitive decline, screenings, vaccination and mental health.
- WHO Dementia Fact Sheet - overview of dementia with a global perspective including human rights issues for people with dementia and links to plans and data.
- Minnesota State Demographic Center (Aging) -Links to Minnesota data broadly related to aging.
1Alzheimer’s Association. 2023 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures
2Alzheimer’s Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy Brain Initiative Road Map for Indian Country (PDF)
3DHHS Statement of Bruce Finke, M.D. Elder Health Consultant IHS to the United States Senate Aging Committee
4Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. Lancet 2020: 396:413-46.
5Minnesota Department of Health, Analyses of Minnesota Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data 2021.
6Minnesota Department of Health, Analyses of Minnesota Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data 2016.
7U.S. Department of Human Services. Medicare Chronic Conditions Dashboard – 2018 data.
8Minnesota Department of Health. 2017. Treated Chronic Disease Costs in Minnesota – a Look Back and a Look Forward.
9Chronic conditions include: asthma, cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, cancer (minus skin cancer), or obesity.
10Minnesota Department of Health. Analyses of Minnesota Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data 2016.