Alzheimer’s disease is a top concern among older adults and a growing social problem in the United States, with 1 in 10 adults over the age of 45 reporting memory and thinking difficulties. More than 6 million Americans are currently affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and twice that number are expected to be affected by 2050. to cure this devastating disease.
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved Biogen’s controversial new Alzheimer’s drug, aducanumab (marketed as Aduhelm), despite a lack of clear evidence of its safety and benefits. did. Following much scrutiny and a decision by the Medicare & Medicaid Centers to significantly limit treatment coverage, the company declared the medication a commercial failure. Last week, Biogen announced promising results for his second drug, lecanemab. It is not yet known if the FDA will approve lecanemab.
As the search for Alzheimer’s disease blockbuster drugs continues, there’s solid evidence that relatively simple strategies to improve brain health are already known to reduce the risk of developing this feared condition. Lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, increased physical activity, and treatment of depression, hearing loss, and hypertension are highly beneficial for maintaining brain health, and current therapeutic approaches Very achievable.In 2020, an international panel of experts found that up to 40% of all dementia cases worldwide could be significantly delayed or prevented by addressing such modifiable risk factors. I concluded that I could. For example, hearing loss is prevalent in older adults and is one of the strongest risk factors for cognitive decline. It can also be easily addressed with hearing aids, which have recently become available in stores. Recently, psychosocial factors such as depression, social isolation, and sedentary lifestyles have become more prevalent during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively, and have been recognized as important risk factors for dementia. I’m here. These can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, social interaction, and physical activity.
Clinical trials of aerobic exercise, nutritional supplementation, and cognitive rehabilitation are currently underway and may provide low-risk, cost-effective strategies for reducing dementia risk in older adults. One positive aspect is that lifestyle interventions often address multiple risk factors, leading to additional benefits. For example, increased physical activity through regular exercise has been found to not only lower blood pressure, but also help reduce depression and anxiety, as well as improve other risk factors for dementia, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. I’m here.
Studies have shown that many of the factors that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease can be greatly benefited from treatment. As we continue to learn and discover new information about how to combat and treat this devastating disease, we are reducing risks and increasing the number of individuals and families affected by this disease. Ask your healthcare provider which of these lifestyle changes will benefit you and your loved ones the most.
Dr. Christopher Martens is Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology and Applied Physiology at the University of Delaware.Delaware Center for Cognitive Aging Research, focuses on conducting clinical trials aimed at addressing modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. James Ellison, MD, MPH, in memory of ChristianaCare, Wilmington, Delaware, He is the Swank Foundation Endowed Chair of Care and Geriatrics and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology.