Alzheimer's-The Tangled Brain




1. The mind killer; 2. The Dr. prescribes; 3. Better diagnosis; 4. Real cures? 5. Is it preventable?1. The mind killer2. The Dr. prescribes3. Better diagnosis4. Real cures?5. Is it preventable?


Q: What is the average life span after an Alzheimer's diagnosis in the United States? A: About 8 years.


Just like mother said
If you'd rather not get Alzheimer's disease in the first place, some hope is emerging from new research. While genes play a major role -- having a close relative with the disease is a definite risk factor, rolling over and playing dead is a poor solution, since it's
starting to seem that lifestyle decisions -- which involve nothing more dangerous than following your mother's good advice -- can make a real difference.

Photo of elderly man sitting on some steps outsideStay active. Research reported this spring to the American Academy of Neurology showed that higher levels of intellectual and/or physical activity --everything from playing board games and musical instruments to exercising and gardening -- seem to ward off Alzheimer's disease. "People who were less active were more than three times more likely to have Alzheimer's disease as compared to those who were more active," said study author Robert Friedland, a neurologist at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Unfortunately, watching TV did not qualify as the kind of "activity" that seemed to ward off the dreaded disease, and they apparently didn't ask about 'net surfing. Want details?

Eat healthy. Findings reported at the World Alzheimer Congress 2000 suggest that eating lots of vegetables, vitamin E, and vitamin C lowers the risk of Alzheimer's disease and a related dementia. Scientists from Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands recorded the dietary habits of 5,395 men and women aged 55 and over who had no dementia. photo of fruitDuring the six-year follow-up, 146 participants developed Alzheimer's disease and 29 developed vascular dementia. On average, people who remained free from both dementias had consumed higher amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and vegetables than people who developed Alzheimer's.

Don't gobble fat. Grace Petot at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine analyzed the relationship between diet and Alzheimer's disease in 304 American men and women who have a common mutation to the ApoE-E4 gene (this mutation affects the storage and transportation of cholesterol, and seems to predispose people to Alzheimer's). Among this middle-aged population, eating a high fat diet produced a seven-fold increase in the memory-destroying disease. Want details?

Get educated. A Swedish study of twins found that education may protect against Alzheimer's disease, according to research reported at the World Alzheimer's Congress 2000. "The theory is that cognitive reserve-greater levels of which might be marked by educational achievement -- may act as a cushion against intellectual impairment," said lead researcher Margaret Gatz, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Speaking of details, have you surfed our demented bibliography?

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