Alzheimer's disease: preventative measures can delay onset

September 21, 2012
Alzheimer's disease: preventative measures can delay onset

"We cannot prevent Alzheimer's, but we can delay the onset of the disease until an advanced age with the right measures," says Peter Dal-Bianco, Alzheimer's expert from the MedUni Vienna's University Department of Neurology as part of World Alzheimer's Day on 21st September. The right preventative measures make it possible to delay the onset of the condition. These include, for example, plenty of exercise, not smoking or the increased intake of fruit and vegetables.

"People who do little exercise, for instance, have an 80 per cent higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease than active individuals," says Dal-Bianco, summarising one of the most important aspects of the current studies into the condition. Even reducing this risk by 25 per cent would save around a million people worldwide from having to experience Alzheimer's disease. In other words, the condition would only develop after their death (from old age).

Other factors that can accelerate the onset of the condition include being overweight, , , smoking, a lower level of education and depression. Says Dal-Bianco: "If the frequency of these seven 'drivers' of Alzheimer's were cut to zero, there would be half as many patients with Alzheimer's disease worldwide." Currently, around 30 million people around the world suffer from , and according to forecasts, this figure will reach 63 million by 2030 and as much as 114 million by 2050. In Austria, there are currently around 100,000 people who are affected by , and this number will rise to 280,000 by 2050.

Alzheimer's prevention works like flood prevention mechanisms

The researcher from the MedUni Vienna compares the effect of Alzheimer's prevention with flood prevention: "Flood prevention measures do not actually prevent floods. They do not affect the volume of rain, or the characteristics of the ground, or , but they do influence the way in which the water drains and they aim to minimise damage."

As well as a fundamental change of lifestyle, the right nutrition can also have a protective effect against Alzheimer's. "This is particularly true for people who are forgetful or who have a higher familial risk of Alzheimer's," says Dal-Bianco. As well as a generally high level of activity involving physical, mental and emotional activity, Alzheimer's prevention can also include eating lots of fruit and vegetables (especially leafy vegetables such as various types of salad, spinach and chard or asparagus) as well as fish at least twice a week - especially fish such as mackerel, sardine, anchovy or tuna.

Explore further: Over half of Alzheimer's cases may be preventable, say researchers

Related Stories

Over half of Alzheimer's cases may be preventable, say researchers

July 19, 2011
Over half of all Alzheimer's disease cases could potentially be prevented through lifestyle changes and treatment or prevention of chronic medical conditions, according to a study led by Deborah Barnes, PhD, a mental health ...

Early-onset Alzheimer's not always associated with memory loss

May 19, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- In a recent study published in the journal Neurology, scientists say that individuals who develop early-onset Alzheimer's in middle age are at a high risk of being misdiagnosed because many of their initial ...

Recommended for you

Lifestyle changes to stave off Alzheimer's? Hints, no proof

July 20, 2017
There are no proven ways to stave off Alzheimer's, but a new report raises the prospect that avoiding nine key risks starting in childhood just might delay or even prevent about a third of dementia cases around the world.

Blood test identifies key Alzheimer's marker

July 19, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that measures of amyloid beta in the blood have the potential to help identify people with altered levels of amyloid in their ...

Steering an enzyme's 'scissors' shows potential for stopping Alzheimer's disease

July 19, 2017
The old real estate adage about "location, location, location" might also apply to the biochemical genesis of Alzheimer's disease, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Brain scans may change care for some people with memory loss

July 19, 2017
Does it really take an expensive brain scan to diagnose Alzheimer's? Not everybody needs one but new research suggests that for a surprising number of patients whose memory problems are hard to pin down, PET scans may lead ...

Can poor sleep boost odds for Alzheimer's?

July 18, 2017
(HealthDay)— Breathing problems during sleep may signal an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease, a trio of studies suggests.

Hearing is believing: Speech may be a clue to mental decline

July 17, 2017
Your speech may, um, help reveal if you're uh ... developing thinking problems. More pauses, filler words and other verbal changes might be an early sign of mental decline, which can lead to Alzheimer's disease, a study suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.