Alzheimer’s Disease: A Current and Looming Challenge

The scope of the challenge
A new report estimates that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease will triple in coming decades, both globally and in the U.S., driven in large part by an aging global population.

Although some research softens those predictions and suggests the rate may fall as populations become healthier and better-educated, Alzheimer’s is already the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.

Currently, the disease can’t be prevented, cured, or slowed. Half of the people who …

Exercise Not Only Prevents Falls, But May Protect Elders Who Do Fall from Serious Injuries

Adults exercising through tai chi

One in three Americans age 65 or older suffers a fall each year, and as many as 30 percent of those who fall sustain moderate-to-severe injuries.

Fall injuries not only cost many older people their freedom and mobility; they strain the resources of family caregivers and add $30 billion in direct medical costs to the U.S. healthcare system, a number expected to grow as the population ages.

A new study suggests that elder adults who exercise are not only less …

Ninfa Peña-Purcell

Ninfa Pena-Purcell

Ninfa, a public health educator at heart, has a strong passion to serve vulnerable populations. A native Texan, she lived in Georgia and Wisconsin as a young adult but returned to her home state in 1994. At that time, she relocated to El Paso, Texas, from Atlanta, Georgia, where her family made plans to settle down and put down roots. In 1997, she completed her masters in kinesiology with a focus in worksite health promotion from the University of Texas …

Roberta Riportella

Roberta Riportella


Growing up in New York on Long Island, Roberta visited the Big Apple where its cultural and art life become part of her. School trips were to the Metropolitan Opera, the symphony, and the ballet.  Her dad was an artist so that enhanced the time spent in and around museums and galleries.  She loved hanging out of dad’s 34th floor art studio on Madison Avenue where she got to watch many ticket-tape parades, including those for the astronauts and JFK.  …

Julia Storm

Julia Storm serves as Agromedicine Information Specialist at North Carolina State University and North Carolina Cooperative Extension. She is actively involved in the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, a partnership of East Carolina University, NC State University and NC A&T State University, whose mission is to promote the health and safety of farmers, foresters, fishers, workers, and their families and communities through research, education, and outreach.

Julia grew up in a small town in East Tennessee. She went to school …

Andrew B. Crocker

Andrew B. Crocker

As Extension Program Specialist III – Gerontology and Health, Andy Crocker’s focus is to support education and outreach regarding the health and well-being of the aging population in the State of Texas. His main role is to support the County Extension Agents for Family and Consumer Sciences in their outreach efforts to older adults, caregivers and the professionals who serve them.

Since joining AgriLife Extension in 2003, Mr. Crocker has worked to develop resources to help older adults improve their …

Bonnie Braun

Bonnie Braun was born, raised and educated in Missouri. The Midwest vantage point framed her understanding of the diversity of people and perspectives. She was introduced to ideas and ways of living “back East, out West, up North and down south.” Over the years, her positions with Extension in multiple states and at the USDA took her to those areas where she experienced life in all four geographic regions. She moved from living on a farm, to small towns, to …