Fighting against Alzheimer’s before it shows up

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Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that affects the functionality of the brain causing memory problems, difficulties when developing thought processes and problems in our behaviour.

One of the aspects that without a doubt makes the disease more serious is the worsening of symptoms over time, which greatly decreases the quality of life of patients.

Fortunately, after years of study of the disease, the medical community has come to the conclusion that there are certain risk factors which, if reduced, could prevent millions of people being affected by Alzheimer’s.

There are seven determining risk factors 

When physicians refer to variables that can negatively impact the development of Alzheimer’s, they indicate the following main factors:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Low mental activity
  • Sedentary lifestyle

It is important to highlight that Alzheimer’s is not part of the human being’s own process of ageing. Clearly, there is an increased likelihood of developing this disease in the following patients:

  • Older patients
  • People with close relatives who have the disease
  • Patients who develop certain genes linked to Alzheimer’s disease such as the APOE epsilon 4 allele.

As we have already seen in earlier posts on this blog, specific changes in our lifestyle can have a favourable impact on certain diseases, which is also true in the case of Alzheimer’s disease. 

In this sense, the analysis of the above mentioned risk factors suggests that initiatives such as giving up smoking or engaging in sports activities often improve the prevention of some types of dementia including Alzheimer’s.

As far as the number of Alzheimer’s patients are concerned, we find ourselves facing the risk of being able to multiply by 3 the prevalence of the disease in the next four decades if we do not manage to improve the treatments and current prevention policies.

 

The disease is there a long time before it develops

Therefore, we must not forget that the human brain begins to experience changes up to 20 years before the disease is manifested in all its gravity. It is for this reason that the priority for researchers is to learn how to detect such changes, because otherwise the reparation of memory or mental abilities in advanced Alzheimer’s cases would be virtually impossible .  

Physicians can rely on biological markers of patients with a high degree of reliability, as well as on nuclear magnetic resonance in order to predict the disease. Progress in this area will in part end up being ineffective until such time that the medical community develops curative or preventive treatments that give meaning to these diagnoses, which until now are only being developed in clinical trials.

At Best Doctors, as could only be expected, we trust the commitment of researchers and we provide the patient with the most updated medical information available, so that whatever happens he or she can get access to  a firm and accurate diagnosis.

 

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