Currently, more than 5 million Americans are living with the hatchet of Alzheimer’s disease hanging on their heads, a figure that will increase exponentially by the year 2050. This isn’t shocking news as Alzheimer’s is considered to be the 6th leading cause of death in the United States alone! Moreover, this disease is one that cannot be cured, slowed, or prevented, yet.
While being in the list of the top ten causes of death, there is still some hope for patients suffering from the disease or those who can develop it later in their life, according to recent groundbreaking research done on the subject.
Newer and Better Drugs for Alzheimer’s in the Market
Medical experts are hoping to change the grim statistics very soon, with the start of nearly 100 new drugs being under clinical trials in the US. The drugs are designed to stop and significantly slow the progression of the disease, according to the director of Medical and Scientific Operations at the Alzheimer’s Association.
This is good news; currently, only five FDA approved drugs for treating Alzheimer’s disease have made their way into the market.
Understanding the Importance of Lifestyle Changes
Scientists have long studied the best ways to treat later stages of the disease, but now they have included ‘prevention of the disease altogether, especially through lifestyle changes’ into that realm of study.
The fact that there’s a direct link between Alzheimer’s and your current lifestyle and how you can prevent the disease by bringing in some changes was further cemented after examining a 2014 Finnish study that included 1,260 volunteers between the ages of 60-77.
It was found out that people who exercised, changed their diet into a healthy one, socialized, and participated in memory training performed far much better than people who didn’t as per the results on memory test conducted two years later as part of the research.
Is There a Link between Heart Health and Alzheimer’s?
Researchers have now reason to believe that the health of our brain is intricately tied to heart health, according to a 2014 study published in the JAMA Neurology. This important piece of information came to light when researchers closely examined the brain images and artery stiffness of elderly adults not suffering from dementia. It was noted that 48% of patients examined had plaque in their brain at the beginning of the study, which increased to 75% after just 2 years! Increased artery stiffness was attributed with plaque development in patients.
In another study released later this year by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the cardiac index (a measuring of how much blood is pumped by the heart) of participants was recorded. The findings were; people with decreased heart function were more likely to develop significant memory loss over a period of 11 years or so.
Although research is still being done to prevent Alzheimer’s and finding ways to detect the disease early on, there are still ways to temporarily treat and slow down the disease. What is the option that can prove the best for you?