Alzheimer’s: Causes and Prevention

The latest research on Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention, sheds some light on possible causes of Alzheimer’s, though there are still many unanswered questions.

The latest round of Alzheimer’s research shows that certain medications can delay the increase in severity of symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The new research has also raised new questions about the causes of Alzheimer’s, and reaffirmed that exercise of body and brain can help.

Can Age, Heredity, and Genetics Cause Alzheimer’s Disease?
It is known that age, family history, and genetic profile, do increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, but it is still unclear what actually triggers the disease process in an individual.

Latest Research on Amyloid Proteins as a Cause of Alzheimer’s
Deposits of amyloid protein in the brain are found in those who have Alzheimer’s. Researchers assumed that these proteins might cause the disease. Though the study was small, a vaccine that cleared or prevented the formation of amyloid proteins did not stop the disease.This calls into questions whether amyloid proteins are, in fact, a cause of Alzheimer’s disease. The vaccine study had to be discontinued due to side effects.

Research on Anti-Amyloid Drugs to Prevent Alzheimer’s
New trial drugs to prevent the formation of amyloid protein deposits, such as Alzhemed and Flurizan; have not been effective either. In addition, subjects with similar levels of amyloid proteins in the brain, performed vastly different on tests of memory and cognitive function, depending on their level of education, with the better educated scoring higher in spite of the amyloid proteins. This research further calls into question the role of amyloid proteins.

Researchers are Still Seeking Causes and Triggers for Alzheimers
One recent study found that it may not be the amyloid protein deposits themselves that cause the problem, but the amount of soluble amyloid proteins that may be released from these deposits. This has led pharmaceutical companies to begin searching for a different target for intervention in Alzheimer’s drug treatment.

Latest Research on Exercising the Brain and Body to Prevent Alzheimer’s
Aside from certain drugs and education levels; exercise also seems to help delay Alzheimer’s symptoms. The latest Alzheimer’s research shows that those who exercise more, or begin an exercise program, score better on tests of cognitive function and memory. Though the benefits are modest they are real. Exercise contributes to better health on all levels. People should consult their doctors before beginning an exercise program.

Can Alzheimer’s be Prevented?
Though there are many unanswered questions regarding the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, exercise and more years of formal education continue to prove to have a protective effect. Keeping one’s brain active and in learning mode, and exercising, are things that people have within their power to do, and if Alzheimer’s is diagnosed early, some medications can help.

Elderly couples should encourage each other in these and other Alzheimer’s prevention efforts.