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A Systems Dynamic Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

Abstract

As estimated there are about 5.3 million who suffer from Alzheimer's disease in United States. The incidence is increasing as the population is aging. Due to the increasing trend of Alzheimer's disease, there is a lot of discussion on prevention efforts or slowing the incidence. Also, models that could predict individual risk of cognitive impairment are needed to assist in prevention efforts. In general dementia development has been associated with growth in various vascular, lifestyle and other risk factors. Epidemiological research provides evidence of some vascular, lifestyle and psychological risk factors that are modifiable and protective of disease incidence either independently or while interacting with other factors. However, as reported by National Institute of Aging, it is not yet clear whether health or lifestyle factors can prevent Alzheimer's disease. The objective of this research project is to adopt a system dynamics modeling approach to study the interaction of several key factors including vascular, lifestyle and psychological aspects over the life course of individuals, to gain further understanding of Alzheimer's disease incidence and evaluate prevention strategies. Both datasets of `Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI)' and `Health and Retirement Study (HRS)' will be used for model development and validation.

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