We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Alzheimer's is such a common occurrence in ageing that it might be considered a normal variant like hypertension. It used to be called plain "senility."
What factors are associated with increased risk?
- Age (obviously) - Family history, mainly maternal history, of dementia. The genetic components may be necessary but insufficient predispositions. - Overweight - Being female - Lack of daily exercise - A wrong diet: The researchers generally recommend a diet which includes daily wine, berries, olive oil, and leafy greens but is low in sweets, dairy, non-berry fruit, and other carbs.
nb: Correlation does not mean causation. These things just represent the current knowledge. Also, medical researchers never include "Bad luck" as a disease risk factor, but it is usually a major one in most ailments.
The mother of a friend of mine was a very health-conscious woman.
She was of normal BMI, even in her 80s.
She had a very healthy diet.
She took daily walks.
She raised her kids into healthy, healthy, healthy: her two sons are doctors, and her daughter (my friend) is a nurse.
Last year, I attended her funeral. Her daughter wished her a happy First Mother's Day in Heaven. Tears abounded. Cause of death: complications from Alzheimer's. Now, her descendants are aware - and trying everything they can not to be the next ones.
Genes are a BIG factor here. It stinks to high heaven, but, unfortunately, that's the way it is.
The ACBL believes that playing bridge can delay or alleviate Alzheimers. I don't know if it's true, but it can't hurt. Their clubs hold an annual charity game -- all day on the summer solstice -- to benefit the Alzheimer's Association.
I think the researchers failed statistics in college. Re the risk factor being female. Well... the real risk factor in play there is old age and more females live into their 80's and thus are more likely to get diseases of old age. Not because they are female but because they didn't die young.
Ditto for the food recommendations. There simply isn't enough evidence either way on diet as it relates to Alzheimers. But there is a huge bias in the medical/health community regarding diet. everyone has an opinion and whenever there is an opportunity they express it and try to tie it into the latest health issue de jour.
I noticed that aluminum cookware didn't make the cut as a cause of Alzheimer's. Where is the anti-aluminum cookware lobby?
Primary cause of everything about you, including your intelligence and disposition: GENES!
Everything else runs a poor second and beyond.
Doesn't mean they can't be adjusted for by meaningful steps, the first of which is: IGNORE the Government's and its minions, Big Pharma/Big Med's palliatives! Learn things first hand, so you can weigh your options and intelligently question what is recommended for your circumstances.
Finally, STAY STRONG by lifting weights. Walking is a nice little way of avoiding couch-potato-ism, but it doesn't strengthen a single large muscle in your body. You can walk yourself into a walker, but lift your way out of it!
There may not be a simple pill one can take to cure Alzheimer's at this time, but it looks as if a multi-faceted approach developed by a doctor in LA (Dale Bredesen) is making a difference in people's lives. Hopefully there will be continued research. Bill Gates has thrown 50 million bucks at the endeavor, apparently because Alzheimer's runs in his family.
I am the daughter and granddaughter of women who developed some kind of dementia in their later years, have seen at first hand the effects of this awful condition, and will be an enthusiastic cheerleader for and practicer of any method that is proven to reverse or hold at bay these devastating symptoms.
When my husband's Grandmother died of Alzheimer's, I thought surely medicine will have something before my Mother in Law reaches the age. After my MOL died of it, I thought surely there will be an effective treatment before it catches up with my ex-husband. He died of it last year at the age of 71, after 12+ years of decline.
What do I know, but I wonder, if part of the stumbling block is that the Alzheimer's diagnosis is still a bit of a laundry basket, and if eventually some additional subsets may be teased apart and identified, with their own unique etiology and treatment.