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Alzheimer's disease: 40% of cases are preventable

Alzheimer’s disease: 40% of cases are preventable


Air pollution, lack of exercise, and tobacco use are risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Up to 40 percent of all cases can be prevented by avoiding these risk factors, experts say to mark World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a neurodegenerative disease in which certain neuropathological changes in the brain lead to a gradual loss of brain neurons and their connections. In general, there are “twelve significant risk factors,” as a dementia researcher reports Elizabeth Stoigmann From the University Clinic of Neurology in Midoni Vienna. But not only physical influences increase the risk of disease. “It’s been known for some time that there is a relationship between social isolation and dementia,” Stogman said.

Early detection is possible

Increasing public awareness of the development of dementia is raising concerns about the possibility of cognitive impairment in many older adults, Report Meduni. However, because various brain functions deteriorate with age, even regardless of a pathological event, it is not always easy to distinguish between the normal and pathological aging process – and more detailed investigations are required.

“We now know that plaque buildup in the brain begins 10 to 20 years before the onset of obvious clinical symptoms,” Stogman explained. Therefore the diagnosis of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease such as “B. Mild Cognitive Impairment is of particular importance,” the neurologist said. “For this purpose, screening methods that can rule out or confirm pathological cognitive decline with a high level of certainty are of great importance.”

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There is still no cure for the cause of the disease

Stögman conducts research as part of an organization funded by the European Union project Using different approaches to risk factors for dementia. Together with European cooperation partners, digital health initiatives and patient organizations are being engaged in order to promote dementia prevention. “There is still a lot of progress to be made before we can stop or even treat Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia,” Stogman stressed. There is currently no approved treatment that combats the causes, even if the results of the new study are eagerly awaited in the coming months.