This Tuesday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in France, the results of a study were presented that could truly have a major impact on this killer disease. For those of us at Support For Home, we see the damage of this disease every day, as a number of our home care clients suffer from it.
What is extremely encouraging about the study is that we may have the ability to reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s:
Seven conditions or behaviors account for up to half of the 35 million cases of Alzheimer’s around the world, it found. With no cure or treatment to reverse the mind-robbing disease, preventing new cases is crucial.
This is the first time I have seen a study that talks about prevention. As a layman, I could easily have missed an earlier study, but this, at least to me, is very big news.
What is equally important is that this is not a snake oil product sales study. The leader was Deborah Barnes, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Funding came from the Alzheimer’s Association and the U.S. National Institutes on Aging.
The study looked at seven factors that appear to be connected to the development of Alzheimer’s and, therefore, to its prevention:
- low education
- too little exercise
- high blood pressure in mid-life
For those of us with any of these factors in play, focusing on the rest is critical. For example, I am diabetic (Type II). That means I had better keep my exercise level up and get my weight even more under control.
Each of us needs to look at ourselves, critically, against these seven factors and optimize what we can.
Best wishes, Bert