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Alzheimer’s Disease: New Survey and Research Study on Awareness, Testing and Prevention

Very interesting new data reinforcing two main themes we have been analyzing for a while:
1) We better start paying serious attention (and R&D dollars) to lifestyle-based and non-invasive cognitive and emotional health interventions, which are mostly ignored in favor of invasive, drug-based options
2) Interventions will need to be personalized. The study below analyzes data at the country level, but the same logic applies to the individual level

Many fear Alzheimer’s, want to be tested: survey (Reuters):

– “The telephone survey of 2,678 adults aged 18 and older in the United States, France, Germany, Spain and Poland was conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Alzheimer Europe, with funding by Bayer AG”

– “When asked to identify the most feared disease out of a list of seven that included cancer, heart disease and stroke, nearly a quarter of respondents from four of the five countries said they most fear getting Alzheimer’s.”

– “Despite high levels of anxiety in the study, as many as 40 percent of people said they did not know Alzheimer’s is fatal and many said they thought there were effective treatments that could slow its progression.”

– “Current drugs only treat Alzheimer’s symptoms, but none have been shown to delay the advance of the disease”

Modifying Risk Factors May Prevent Alzheimer’s Epidemic (Medscape):

– “Up to half of all Alzheimer’s cases may be attributable to these modifiable risk factors and suggests that public health interventions to increase education and physical activity and reduce smoking rates and depression could potentially have a dramatic impact on Alzheimer’s prevalence over time,” study investigator Deborah Barnes, PhD, MPH, …”

– “This gives us hope about things that we might be able to do now to try to prevent the epidemic that we see coming our way,” she added.

– “At 19% the risk factor that contributed most to AD worldwide was low educational level, which was defined as no education beyond grade school. Dr. Barnes said the investigators were surprised that low educational level topped the worldwide list but attributed it to the fact that lack of education is so common. She noted that 40% of people worldwide have no education beyond a very basic level. The second highest number of cases worldwide was attributed to smoking (14%) followed by physical inactivity (13%), depression (11%), midlife hypertension (5%), midlife obesity (2%), and diabetes (2%).”

– “In the United States physical inactivity emerged as the main driver of AD prevalence, accounting for 21% of cases. This was followed by depression (15%), smoking (11%), midlife hypertension (8%), midlife obesity (7%), low educational level (7%), and diabetes (3%).”

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  1. Ktd says:

    I heard in this study that also If you workout at least 3 times a week that it reduces your chance of getting alzheimers.

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