- Category: Brain Fitness
- Published on Thursday, 14 June 2012 12:48
- Written by Jeff Walls
- Hits: 459
As more and more research is being done on the causes of Alzheimer's, as well as treatments, more and more information is becoming available on practical ways of reducing one's risks of developing the disease. Though the exact causes are still not known, general aging is probably still the leading cause of Alzheimer's development.
It is common knowledge that the risk of developing Alzheimer's increases in everyone over the age of 65. It has also been discovered that major ailments or illnesses, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can also increase the chances of developing Alzheimer's later in life. However, newer studies have shown that an abundance of minor health issues can also increase one's chances of developing the disease.
Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, professor of medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada conducted a 10 year study on 7,200 cognitively healthy 65 year olds. The study showed that those with several minor issues, such as sinus congestion, hearing problems....even loose dentures, were more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Though not directly tied to brain health, researchers believe that the overall strain on a body can lead to poor brain health, resulting in dementia. When the list of ailments reached 12 or more, the individual was 40% more likely to develop Alzheimer's. Richard Lipton, M.D., professor and vice chairman of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine says that the study identified people "who age badly"; simply put, their biological age is greater than that of their chronological age. We've all made the joke that we feel older than we are. In actuality, it can be true.
Obviously, everyone develops a myriad of minor issues throughout a lifetime. Many of us just brush them off and learn to adapt, attributing common problems to allergies or heredity or "just not that important". With this new found knowledge, we are able to make adjustments while we are younger to give us the best chances for a healthier future.
Do you know someone with Alzheimer's? Did they have several ailments that could have lead to the development of Alzheimer's? We are interested in hearing everyone;s perspective on this topic. Please feel free to share your experiences with us here. Your story may help others in a similar situation.