Alzheimer’s prevention added to national HHS plan

On December 28, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced the annual update to NAPA, the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s disease, this time including an emphasis on healthy aging as a prevention tool to decrease risk of dementia. The update adds a sixth goal to the national plan, which sets targets for coordinating Alzheimer’s disease research, care and treatment development across federal agencies. Read the HHS statement here.

The new goal focuses on preventing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by funding prevention research, by encouraging people to change their health behaviors regarding known risk factors such as physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, smoking or drinking; and by better integrating risk reduction strategies for hypertension and diabetes into clinical practice.

WAI Director Cynthia Carlsson, MD, MS, is chair of the HHS advisory council on Alzheimer’s research, care and services. In a statement about the update, she said prevention is an important piece in the national strategy to address Alzheimer’s disease.

“While clinical trials continue to investigate the best therapies to treat and prevent dementia, this new goal will empower individuals, families, and clinicians to work together to make lifestyle changes that could lower their baseline risk for dementia and other age-related diseases,” she said.

The national plan now consists of six goals, including prevention, treatment, and access to quality care. Read more about the prevention update on