Since Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative condition which cannot be cured, more scientists focus on preventive measures to help Americans.
There are 5.4 million people across the country suffering from this condition, and this number is projected to triple by 2050. However, based on the latest study, the rates of dementia in patients 65 and older dropped off from 11.6% in 2000 to roughly 8.8% in 2012.
Scientists are puzzled by these findings because one in three seniors 85 and older, as well as one out of eleven over 65, develop Alzheimer’s disease every year. Five years ago, the National Institute of Aging invested six million dollars in research conducted by experts from the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center.
Furthermore, the center received an additional grant of $8.5 million which would be enough to continue the investigation until 2021. The KU Center focuses on developing prevention strategies rather than a cure.
Therefore, the scientists believe that physical exercises, the Mediterranean diet, and experimental medications might strengthen the seniors’ metabolism to prevent the onset of the Alzheimer’s disease. Until now, there are just two classes of medications known to deal with some symptoms.
The most recent one was approved by the DFA 13 years ago. The KU Center is currently conducting 75 studies on this disease involving approximatively one thousand volunteers. Furthermore, another 700 volunteers 60 years and older are expected to join the research soon.
They will participate in comprehensive studies on medication, exercise, and diets for the next five years. Also, the scientists are already working on fourteen studies. Several decades ago, the only way experts could diagnose Alzheimer’s was during the autopsy.
Thanks to PET brain scans, Americans can detect this condition in its early stages. However, these scans are quite expensive as they go up to around $5,000.
Scientists underline that one of the best solutions which might be effective in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions is the Mediterranean diet. It includes a broad array of foods rich in healthy fats and lean protein, such as vegetables, berries, nuts, fresh fruits, whole grains, olive oil, and fish.
Previous studies have revealed that Mediterranean people who stick to this diet are less likely to develop cancer, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular conditions, and diabetes. Out of these conditions, Type 2 diabetes can significantly increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which is also known as Type 3 diabetes.
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