Alzheimer’s Disease is Not a Normal Part of Aging
Updated: Jul 6
No, we aren’t all going to get Alzheimer’s disease as we age, It is not a normal part of aging.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of the brain where abnormal proteins collect in our brain cells. Alzheimer’s is the leading form of dementia.
The disease causes symptoms such as memory loss, changes in judgement, reasoning, behaviour and emotions. Many people with Alzheimer’s have difficulty performing daily activities.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and the symptoms are irreversible. However, there are some treatment options and lifestyle choices which may slow It down.
Aging as a Risk Factor
Age is the strongest known unmodifiable risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease but most of us will NOT develop Alzheimer’s disease.
After age 65, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease doubles approximately every 5 years. The older you become the higher the risk. 1 in 4 of those age 85 have Alzheimer’s disease but that is still a minority.
We know that aging can impair the body’s self-repair mechanisms, including in our brain. Many of the cardiovascular risk factors increase with age, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
How to Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk?
A healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers suggest that up to 50% of the cases of Alzheimer’s disease may be the result of 7 modifiable risk factors: diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, depression, obesity, cognitive inactivity and physical inactivity.
So, there are actions we can take to reduce the risk.
Scientists are now suggesting that Alzheimer’s disease may start to develop in our brains in our 30’s but symptoms do not show until much later in life.
Drug companies have not had success finding a medication to stop or prevent Alzheimer’s. In fact, many drug companies have stopped their testing due to so many testing failures. However, many of these companies are now turning their attention to finding a drug that can be administered while we are young that will thwart the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
We live in hope.
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