Alzheimer’s Disease: An Overview

Alzheimers disease was first recorded by and named for Alois Alzheimer, a German physician, in 1906. Much has been learned since that time, but little has occurred in the prevention arena. In fact to this point the only known event that can possibly prevent or at least slow the disease is the continued learning of knowledge which makes the brain work. Alzheimers disease information then, has not changed much either though great strides are being made with the continual search for answers.

There are a few risk factors that can be identified:

  • Genetics – Having a propensity for the possible development of disease of any type does not verify that you will, without course, develop it. There are two verifiable genes however, that let you know if you have a possibility of its development.

  • Age – 80% of those that develop Alzheimers disease are over the age of 65.

  • Head Injury – There seems to be a high correlation of earlier head injuries in patients that develop Alzheimers later on.

  • Heart Health – Studies are showing a possible increase in Alzheimers in patients with damaged hearts and blood vessels. That includes diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, and high blood pressure. This is the one area that you can actively reduce your risk through seeking out good health for your heart also.

There are not many risk factors then that can be influenced. Many lifestyle behaviors are being investigated but, they can’t be determined apart from years of experimental study. Many do show promise and organizations keep forming to keep track of the statistics involved.

When researching Alzheimers disease information a good place to start would be with the “National Institute on Aging.” There are several national institutes that can provide Alzheimers disease information as they form partnerships periodically for Alzheimers clinical studies and their results.

You can also find great information on Alzheimers disease from Web MD. One of the more exciting preventative behaviors you’ll find listed there are from “Harvard” studies. It involves not just keeping the brain learning but also partaking in leisure activities that you find enjoyable:

  • Reading

  • Playing musical instruments

  • Playing board games

  • Dancing

The studies can’t yet prove that the disease will be kept at bay but, they do suggest that early diagnosis offers hope for improved quality of life. 

http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/default.htm

http://nihseniorhealth.gov/alzheimersdisease/toc.html