The things to remember about dementia are that it is absolutely horrible for you and everyone around you; it’s a high probability; and when it comes to fighting it or avoiding it you are pretty much on your own.
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are currently killing 6.5 million people in the United States and devastating the lives of many times that when you count the patients’ friends and family. The National Institutes of Health reckons this number is likely to double in the next four decades.
The last study found that people in their 70s had nearly a one in three chance of getting this horrific brain disease before they died, and that was a study of the people born in the 1920s. Those born later, who are likely to live longer, face an even higher risk.
Meanwhile the amount that the federal government spends each year on research to fight this disease is less than 0.1% of the amount it spent during two years fighting COVID. Or, to put it another way, at current rates, Uncle Sam will take more than 1,000 years to spend as much on Alzheimer’s research as he spent fighting COVID-19. Meanwhile, a new scandal has raised questions about how much research into dementia over the past 15 years was based on faulty data.
So I’ll take the good news where I can get it, and some very heartening new data has just been published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Neurology.
In a nutshell: Just walking a lot more could do a lot to cut our risks of developing dementia. It could actually cut our risk in half.
And, remarkably, the ideal target is about 9.800 steps a day: In other words, just shy of the magic 10,000 steps a day figure — a number that was apparently plucked out of the blue by the marketing department of a Japanese clock company several decades ago.

Comment: You do not want to get dementia or deal with a relative who gets it. It is miserable to deal with someone who can't remember what you just told them and gets angry when you refuse to answer the same questions over and over and over . . . Tip: if you are dealing with an agitated elder with dementia, Zyprexa did wonders to remove the agitation and anger with one of my relatives . . . Made her almost normal again. Melatonin gummies are very helpful also to get dementia patients to relax and sleep . . . Your mileage may vary . . .