This week a new health report was published regarding ways to prevent the Alzheimer’s disease. According to research from the University of Cambridge, one in three cases of Alzheimer’s disease worldwide is preventable. This is a step forward for the healthcare industry as successful treatment for Alzheimer’s disease is still in the research stages.
Clinical research says the main risk factors for the disease are a lack of exercise, smoking, depression and poor education. Although these contribute to causing Alzheimer’s, the biggest risk factor for the disease is still age.
The Cambridge team analysed the population-based data to work out the main seven risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. These are:
- Mid-life hypertension
- Mid-life obesity
- Physical inactivity
- Low educational attainment
Lifestyle changes can be linked to preventing the disease for the future by increasing day to day exercise and stopping smoking. The researchers even looked into how reducing these factors could affect the number of future Alzheimer cases. They found that by reducing each risk factor by 10% will prevent nearly nine million cases of the disease by 2050. They also calculated that in the UK, a 10% reduction in risk factors would reduce cases by 8.8% by 2050.
The current predications for Alzheimer’s suggests that more than 106 million people worldwide will be living with Alzheimer’s by 2050, which is more than three times the number affected in 2010.
Looking into the future, there is still much to discover about the disease but everyday researchers are becoming closer and closer to finding a preventable treatment for the life threatening disease. Currently there is 820,000 people in the UK living with dementia says Dr Ridley, head of research at charity Alzheimer’s Research UK. The researchers must continue to build strong evidence around health and environmental factors to help individuals reduce their risk. Worldwide healthcare investment needs to be driven into new treatment research.
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Research quotes were sourced from the BBC Health report “One in three Alzheimer’s cases preventable, says research”.