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Alzheimer's Disease - Dementia

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Alzheimer's Disease - Dementia

NIH - Medical Encyclopedia Alzheimer's Disease

"Alzheimer's disease (AD), one form of dementia, is a progressive, degenerative brain disease. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior. Memory impairment is a necessary feature for the diagnosis of this or any type of dementia. Change in one of the following areas must also be present: language, decision-making ability, judgment, attention, and other areas of mental function and personality. The rate of progression is different for each person. If AD develops rapidly, it is likely to continue to progress rapidly. If it has been slow to progress, it will likely continue on a slow course. There are two types of AD -- early onset and late onset. In early onset AD, symptoms first appear before age 60. Early onset AD is much less common, accounting for only 5-10% of cases. However, it tends to progress rapidly. The brain tissue shows "neurofibrillary tangles" (twisted fragments of protein within nerve cells that clog up the cell), "neuritic plaques" (abnormal clusters of dead and dying nerve cells, other brain cells, and protein), and "senile plaques" (areas where products of dying nerve cells have accumulated around protein). Although these changes occur to some extent in all brains with age, there are many more of them in the brains of people with AD."

Highlighted Articles

Education and Alzheimer disease without dementia: support for the cognitive reserve hypothesis. (Neurology. 2007)

"CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of the neuropathologic criteria used, education is predictive of dementia status among individuals with neuropathologic Alzheimer disease. These results support the theory that individuals with greater cognitive reserve, as reflected in years of education, are better able to cope with AD brain pathology without observable deficits in cognition."

Nutritional factors, cognitive decline, and dementia. (Brain Res Bull. 2006)

"Nutritional factors and nutritional deficiencies have been repeatedly associated with cognitive impairment. … Deficiencies of several B vitamins have been associated with cognitive dysfunction in many observational studies. More recently, deficiencies of folate (B(9)) and cobalamine (B(12)) have been studied in relation to hyperhomocysteinemia as potential determinants of cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease (AD). A small number of studies assessed the association between intake of macronutrients and cognitive function or dementia. Among the others, the intake of fatty acids and cholesterol has received particular attention. Although the results are not always consistent, most studies have reported a protective role of dietary intakes of poly- and mono-unsaturated fatty acids against cognitive decline and AD."

Exercise Is Associated with Reduced Risk for Incident Dementia among Persons 65 Years of Age and Older (Annals of Internal Medicine 2006)

"Conclusion: These results suggest that regular exercise is associated with a delay in onset of dementia and Alzheimer disease, further supporting its value for elderly persons."

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Alzheimer's Disease - Dementia

Risk Reduction


Can Physical Activity Stave Off Dementia?

Daily Physical Activity May Reduce Alzheimer’s Disease Risk at Any Age“The study also showed that those individuals in the bottom 10 percent of intensity of physical activity were almost three times (2.8 times) as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease as people in the top percent of the intensity of physical activity.”

Eating Fish Can Protect Against Alzheimer’s“Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that people who ate baked or broiled fish just once a week had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. They were also at lower risk of mild cognitive impairment, a type of memory loss that sometimes leads to Alzheimer’s. The fish eaters had more brain gray matter, as measured by M.R.I., or magnetic resonance imaging, brain scans, than those who didn’t regularly eat fish. Greater brain volume may indicate intact memory and thinking functions, whereas brain shrinkage has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.”

Eating More Foods Rich in Omega-3s May Lower Alzheimer's Risk: Study

Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk, Even If You Start Late

Exercise May Help Those at Higher Risk for Alzheimer's: Study “A new study finds that an active lifestyle may help protect against Alzheimer's-related brain changes in people who have a well-known genetic risk factor. This factor is the e4 allele (version) of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene. "The presence of an APOE e4 allele is the most established genetic risk factor for Alzheimer disease, with a higher percentage of individuals with Alzheimer's disease having an e4 allele in comparison with the general population," the authors write in the article published online Jan. 9 in the journal Archives of Neurology.”

Fighting Alzheimer's Disease With Exercise “The results showed that exercise was more beneficial than diet control in reducing ß-amyloid formation (a defining characteristic of Alzheimer's disease) and restoring memory loss induced by a high-fat diet in these mice. Moreover, Kinoshita's team found that the effect of diet control plus exercise was not significantly different than exercise alone. They attribute the positive effects of exercise to increased degradation of ß-amyloid deposits in the brain. "Based on the results in this research," Kinoshita suggests, "exercise should be given priority to prevent Alzheimer's disease." “

Green Tea Improves Memory And Spacial Awareness

Mediterranean Diet Might Be Healthier for Brain “But they concluded it was likelier that the overall diet -- rather than any specific nutrients -- might somehow affect the brain. Another expert agreed that lifestyle, including diet, is key to brain health. "This just adds to the building body of evidence of the power of lifestyle changes, especially the Mediterranean diet, in disease modification and prevention, " said Dr. Robert Graham, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City. Previous research has suggested that eating a Mediterranean diet is associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, stroke and thought and memory disorders.”

More Evidence Physical Activity May Ward Off Dementia

Resistance to Dementia May Run in the Family

Steady Diet of Mental Stimulation Might Reduce Alzheimer's Risk “People who engage in activities such as reading and playing games throughout their lives may be lowering levels of a protein in their brains that is linked to Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. Although whether the buildup of the protein, beta amyloid, causes Alzheimer's disease is debatable, it is a hallmark of the condition, the researchers noted. "Staying cognitively active over the lifetime may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's by preventing the accumulation of Alzheimer's-related pathology," said study author Susan Landau, a research scientist at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.”

Symptoms Of Dementia Warded Off By The Bilingual Brain

Turmeric holds key to halting Alzheimer's

Vitamin C May Help Protect You Against Dementia


Fasting may help prevent dementia and cancer “In the past, fasting was a commonly used medical treatment. New research suggests we should go back to the traditional therapy. Experts say drastically reducing dietary intake can trigger a protective process in the brain against age-related degeneration diseases like dementia. According to news reports released March 3 in Beijing, China, foreign media outlets reported that in the near future, family physicians may recommend that you should fast two days per week in order to prevent the brain from age-related shrinkage, and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. In the past, fasting was a common therapy. New research now suggests that we should resume this traditional therapy because fasting seems to trigger a cascade of beneficial physiological changes in hormones and metabolism in the body.”

Fish, Flaxseed May Lower Alzheimer's Risk


Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and Alzheimer's disease risk in an Australian population. (Transl Psychiatry. 2012)

Being physically active may protect the brain from Alzheimer disease. (Neurology. 2012)

Fruit, vegetables and prevention of cognitive decline or dementia: a systematic review of cohort studies. (J Nutr Health Aging. 2012)

Higher Vitamin D Dietary Intake Is Associated With Lower Risk of Alzheimer's Disease: A 7-Year Follow-up. (J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012)

How can elderly apolipoprotein E e4 carriers remain free from dementia? (Neurobiology of Aging 2012) “High education, active leisure activities, or maintaining vascular health seems to reduce the risk of dementia related to APOE e4. The e4 carriers with these characteristics appear to have similar dementia-free survival time to non-e4 carriers.”

Lifestyle and the Risk of Dementia in Japanese-American Men. (J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011)

Lowering homocysteine levels with folic acid and B-vitamins do not reduce early atherosclerosis, but could interfere with cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. (J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2012)

Mental and Physical Activities Delay Cognitive Decline in Older Persons With Dementia. (Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012)

Older men who use computers have lower risk of dementia. (PLoS One. 2012) “As the use of computers has previously been associated with improved cognitive function in adulthood and old age [10] and participation in cognitively stimulating activities reduces the long-term risk of dementia [6], [11], we hypothesized that older computer users would have lower risk of developing dementia than non-users over a follow up period of up to 8 years. We conducted this study to test this hypothesis. … In the meantime, there seems to be no obvious reason not to encourage older people to embrace the use of computer technology, as long as one remains mindful of the negative musculoskeletal and cardiovascular consequences of prolonged physical inactivity [34] and the many advantages of a balanced and healthy lifestyle [35].”

Self-Reported Dietary Intake of Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium and Risk of Dementia in the Japanese: The Hisayama Study (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2012) “Higher self-reported dietary intakes of potassium, calcium, and magnesium reduce the risk of all-cause dementia, especially VaD, in the general Japanese population.”

Sleeping More Reduces Risk Of Alzheimer's

Total daily physical activity and the risk of AD and cognitive decline in older adults (Neurology 2012) “A higher level of total daily physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of AD.”

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