A Framework for Assessing the Effects of Climate Change on Dementia Risk and Burden. By: Zuelsdorff, Megan and Limaye, Vijay S. 2024. Gerontologist. Vol. 64 Issue 3, p1-7.

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) represent a public health crisis poised to worsen in a changing climate. Substantial dementia burden is modifiable, attributable to risk rooted in social and environmental conditions. Climate change threatens older populations in numerous ways, but implications for cognitive aging are poorly understood. We illuminate keymechanisms by which climate change will shape incidence and lived experiences of ADRD, and propose a framework for strengthening research, clinical, and policy actions around cognitive health in the context of climate change. Direct impacts and indirect risk pathways operating through built, social, interpersonal, and biomedical systems are highlighted. Air pollutioncompromises brain health directly and via systemic cardiovascular and respiratory ailments. Flooding and extreme temperatures constrain health behaviors like physical activity and sleep. Medical care resulting from climate-related health shocks imposes economic and emotional tolls on people living with dementia and caregivers. Throughout, inequitable distributions of climate-exacerbated risks and adaptive resources compound existing disparities in ADRD incidence, comorbidities, and care burden. Translational research, including work prioritizing underserved communities, is crucial. A mechanistic framework can guide research questions and methods and identify clinical- and policy-level intervention loci for prevention and mitigation of climate-related impacts on ADRD risk and burden.