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While exercise and staying mentally engaged shined through in this study, a comprehensive approach toward reducing Alzheimer's risk factors is the best recipe for success, any prevention plan should also include regular follow-up with a primary care physician, management of vascular risk factors like blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, avoiding smoking, minimizing alcohol use, prioritizing sleep, managing stress, and following a Mediterranean-style diet, among many other suggestions.
In our work, we have found that certain people need to really commit to their exercise program to demonstrate effects on the memory domain, for example, people with one or more copies of the APOE4 genetic variant need to participate in more intense cardiovascular exercise programs, such as high-intensity interval training on a regular basis, to show positive effects.
I'm excited about the future of psychedelics because of the relatively good safety profile and because these agents can now be studied in rigorous double-blinded clinical trials, then we can move from anecdotal reports of' I tripped on this and felt better' to' Try this and you will be statistically, significantly better.'.
Specific traits may increase risk due to a lifetime of behaviors that predispose a person to developing cognitive decline or Alzheimer's disease, or there could be more of a direct biological role related to early disease pathology, neuroticism is specifically one trait that comes to mind, and past meta-analyses have also show this. Rumination and worry is linked to smaller brain volumes.
People want to know,' what are my chances ?' and then' what can I do about it ?' not today, but in the near future, we'll be able to calculate a person's likelihood of developing Alzheimer's or another brain disorder in a more precise way, and that will help with precision medical and lifestyle management.
Alzheimer's disease is a multifactorial disease, made up of different pathologies, and each person has their own road, clinicians always say,' once you've seen one person with Alzheimer's, you've seen one person with Alzheimer's.' The disease presents differently and progresses differently in different people.
Now the messaging was like,' Wait a minute. It worked, and it especially works if you pull all the high dosages from the two studies,' because it would take years to repeat a study, and considering the lack of available therapies to treat the pre-dementia phase, the company made an uncharacteristic decision -- to still apply to The FDA.
While this was a longer-term study, these results parallel findings from our clinical research in the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic, where people who made dietary and other lifestyle changes showed cognitive improvements in 18 months, future studies will help to clarify how long a person needs to make a dietary change before seeing an impact on cognitive outcomes.
The next step toward improving cognitive outcomes in widowers at risk should be greater attention toward the types of interventions, support and resources that could maintain brain health, while different types of stress may not be entirely created equal, the significant impact of widowhood is one that requires further study.
What we're realizing is that if we can find a drug or some sort of intervention that can slow down or reverse the disease, we'll need to use that drug as early as possible, when someone starts having symptoms of memory loss, mild cognitive impairment or dementia due to Alzheimer's, it's so much more difficult to treat.
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