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Treating certain risk factors may prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

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 Treating certain risk factors may prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

New findings show that by treating risk factors one can not only  prevent cardiovascular disease but also Alzheimer’s. In a review paper on Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders, performed by Dr. Gustavo C. Roman, director of the Nantz National Alzheimer Center at the Methodist Neurological Institute in Houston, it is noted that if certain risk factors are treated the risk of dementia vascular and mixed dementia is significantly reduced.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia that mainly affects older people. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and once started the disease does not regress. There are several hypotheses have been proposed for Alzheimer’s disease. One of them is the cholinergic hypothesis, which postulates that a decrease in the amount of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Another theory says that Alzheimer’s disease is actually caused by the accumulation of beta amilod in the brain. This hypothesis was supported by the fact that the gene that encodes beta amyloid precursor protein (APP) is found on chromosome 21 that is involved in Down syndrome. It seems that people with Down syndrome are prone to develop and Alzheimer’s disease after age 40. Another hypothesis that was proposed was that of neurofibrillary tangles accumulation in neuronal corpus.

The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. Of course, the symptoms depend on the stage of the disease. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease appear mild  problems with memory and learning, without interfering too much with daily activity, but in severe forms of the disease patients may require ongoing care.

Now the review done by Dr. Gustavo C. Roman reveals that there are certain risk factors that lead to vascular dementia and mixed dementia that can be prevented. One of these factors is hypertension. It is known that untreated hypertension can lead to stroke. Depending on the artery affected brain, a stroke is associated with various neurological problems. In addition there have been studies that have shown that stroke greatly increases the likelihood that people with mild cognitive impairment develop Alzheimer’s later in life. Apart from hypertension, hyperlipidemia, along with diabetes, is a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s.

Smoking is also a risk factor for dementia. Smoking leads to impaired cerebral microcirculation that contributes to the de development of dementia. Another risk factor that affects circulation is insulin resistant diabetes. Patients with diabetes are two to three times more prone to Alzheimer’s.

Also, hyperhomocysteinemia appears to be involved in causing Alzheimer’s. It should be noted however that hyperhomocysteinemia and Alzheimer’s patients tend to respond well to treatment with large doses of B vitamins. Finally we must not forget the role of diet and physical activity, which together reduce the risk of developing vascular dementia.