Many Alzheimer's cases 'avoidable'

This Is Lancashire: It is thought that by 2050 more than 106 million people will have Alzheimer's It is thought that by 2050 more than 106 million people will have Alzheimer's

A third of Alzheimer's cases are potentially preventable if people improve their lifestyles, according to a new study.

Factors including a lack of exercise, smoking and a lack of education can all contribute to the disease, and reducing the risk from these could prevent some nine million cases by 2050, the research published in The Lancet Neurology today suggests.

The latest study, led by Professor Carol Brayne from the Cambridge Institute of Public Health at the University of Cambridge and funded by the National Institute for Health Research, lowers the estimate from previous research in 2011 which had suggested as many as one in two cases are preventable.

The seven risk factors associated with Alzheimer's are diabetes, midlife hypertension, midlife obesity, physical inactivity, depression, smoking, and low educational attainment.

It is thought that by 2050 more than 106 million people will have Alzheimer's, up from 30 million sufferers in 2010.

Dr Deborah Barnes from the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Centre , who led the 2011 study and is a co-author on the new study, said the latest information could help to prevent and manage the disease in the future.

"It's important that we have as accurate an estimate of the projected prevalence of Alzheimer's as possible, as well as accurate estimates of the potential impact of lifestyle changes at a societal level," said Dr Barnes.

"Alzheimer's disease is placing an ever increasing burden on health services worldwide as well as on both patients and their carers.

"Our hope is that these estimates will help public health professionals and health policy makers design effective strategies to prevent and manage this disease."

While there is no one way to prevent dementia this research indicates ways to reduce the risks, Professor Brayne said.

" We know what many of these factors are, and that they are often linked," said Prof Bayne.

"Simply tackling physical inactivity, for example, will reduce levels of obesity, hypertension and diabetes, and prevent some people from developing dementia as well as allowing a healthier old age in general - it's a win-win situation."

In separate research presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen at the weekend, r esults showed that regular eye tests could in future be used to diagnose early-stage Alzheimer's, while a reduced sense of smell could also be an early indicator of dementia.

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8:15am Mon 14 Jul 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

Taking care of one's health is one thing, but I think academics need to be careful about these 'helpful' suggestions turning into something that looks like putting the blame onto the many millions of people who suffer from Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Dementia is NOT a lifestyle choice and if supposedly 'scientific' findings are used as just another way through to a back door to further privatise NHS treatment for dementia sufferers then everyone has need to be afraid, very afraid because soon other diseases will be next to be deemed to not qualify for NHS treatment as some pseudo-scientific finding sponsored by vested interests claims they are self-inflicted. Fact is, medical science has failed miserably at finding out about dementia and really knows not that very much than the ordinary person in the street. The unpalatable truth is that if you're going to get it, you're going to get it and it's all down to good or bad luck.

*Oddly enough though, one theory you won't hear thrown around very often by the medical science community is the possibility that dementia can be accelerated if not caused by certain types of medications that are produced by the big pharmaceutical companies. Admittedly, some of these theories are thrown across the the internet by conspiracy theorists. However, check out an article in the New York Times by Susan Selig which is available online about what happened to her mother when she broke her hip, suddenly became totally disorientated due to the meds the hospital gave her and then rapidly got back to her normal self after she insisted that her mother was taken off them.
Taking care of one's health is one thing, but I think academics need to be careful about these 'helpful' suggestions turning into something that looks like putting the blame onto the many millions of people who suffer from Alzheimer's and other dementias. Dementia is NOT a lifestyle choice and if supposedly 'scientific' findings are used as just another way through to a back door to further privatise NHS treatment for dementia sufferers then everyone has need to be afraid, very afraid because soon other diseases will be next to be deemed to not qualify for NHS treatment as some pseudo-scientific finding sponsored by vested interests claims they are self-inflicted. Fact is, medical science has failed miserably at finding out about dementia and really knows not that very much than the ordinary person in the street. The unpalatable truth is that if you're going to get it, you're going to get it and it's all down to good or bad luck. *Oddly enough though, one theory you won't hear thrown around very often by the medical science community is the possibility that dementia can be accelerated if not caused by certain types of medications that are produced by the big pharmaceutical companies. Admittedly, some of these theories are thrown across the the internet by conspiracy theorists. However, check out an article in the New York Times by Susan Selig which is available online about what happened to her mother when she broke her hip, suddenly became totally disorientated due to the meds the hospital gave her and then rapidly got back to her normal self after she insisted that her mother was taken off them. Katie Re-Registered
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