World Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

IAS News 12 September 2013 | 0 Comments

So with September being World Alzheimer’s disease Awareness Month we thought it was time for a blog looking into this hard hitting illness that affects so many people. It has been said that by 2050, almost 150 million people will suffer from some form of Alzheimer’s disease.

This debilitating illness comes in many forms, and has several differing reasons for developing, indeed it is thought that up to 5% of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease develop it when they are in their 40’s or 50’s as opposed to the often thought of over 65. It is also the 6th leading cause of death within the USA, with those with the disease living for an average of 8 years once the symptoms have become obvious to those around them; however survival can be up to 20 years from the onset.

A cure is still some way off; however many governments have made this one of their biggest priorities due to the number of people who are affected. Treatments for those who have Alzheimer’s disease, are aimed at helping ease symptoms, slowing down the progression of stages, and improving the quality of life for those who suffer.

The biggest risk factor for suffering with Alzheimer’s disease is age, with the risk thought to double every 5 years after the age of 65. Once someone hits 80 the chances become more than 50%. Another risk factor is family history or genetics, with two types of genes playing a pivotal role. Risk genes will increase the likelihood of suffering, but deterministic genes directly cause it. Head trauma, especially when it happens repeatedly, or leads to a loss of consciousness has a strong link to Alzheimer’s. The health of your heart often has a strong connection with your brain health, so keeping cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes among others under control is very important. Finally keeping fit and healthy is a way of keeping most forms of dementia at bay. Keeping a steady weight, avoiding tobacco and excess alcohol, as well as keeping a good social circle and a good level of fitness will all help.

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