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

Canola oil linked to worsened memory and learning ability in Alzheimer's

December 7, 2017
Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in the world, yet surprisingly little is known about its effects on health. Now, a new study published online December 7 in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers ...

Genetics study suggests that education reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease

December 7, 2017
The theory that education protects against Alzheimer's disease has been given further weight by new research from the University of Cambridge, funded by the European Union. The study is published today in the BMJ.

Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's

December 6, 2017
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and neurodegeneration worldwide. A major hallmark of the disease is the accumulation of toxic plaques in the brain, formed by the abnormal aggregation of a protein called ...

Alzheimer's damage in mice reduced with compound that targets APOE gene

December 6, 2017
People who carry the APOE4 genetic variant face a substantial risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.

Lithium in water associated with slower rate of Alzheimer's disease deaths

December 5, 2017
Rates of diabetes and obesity, which are important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, also decrease if there is a particular amount of lithium in the water, says the study, published recently in the Journal of Alzheimer's ...

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

December 5, 2017
A new Tel Aviv University study reveals that hyperbaric oxygen treatments may ameliorate symptoms experienced by patients with Alzheimer's disease.

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.