It is important for a person to grow old in a positive environment, with laughter, with his closest ones, to have a hobby, to socialize, and never to withdraw into himself and reduce communication to a minimum.
The most severe diseases usually come unnoticed. It can happen that at the age of 40 you start looking for the key all over the house in a panic, and it may be in the lock, as usual, or at the age of 65 you do not remember that a child was born in your family a few months ago. These are some of the examples that confirm the theses of experts that the path to Alzheimer’s disease sometimes takes 25 years.
People who age in a positive environment are at an advantage
- Science has not yet discovered the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but it is known that well-controlled blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes, in middle age, significantly protect against this disease. Those who age in a positive environment, with a lot of contact and a lot of emotions, have the advantage of not developing cognitive problems.
What precedes Alzheimer’s disease?
Modern science today speaks not only about Alzheimer’s, but also about the entire spectrum of diseases that precede the onset of this disease.
- One immediate precursor to Alzheimer’s disease is mild cognitive impairment (BCD). This disorder is different from dementia. People who are diagnosed with BKP do not have impaired daily life functioning. They have complaints and objective confirmation that there are outbursts within certain cognitive domains, most often memory. People who have BKP are independent, and when a person cannot function independently, then it is already dementia.
With mild cognitive impairment, not only memory can be impaired, but also language functioning. We cannot remember the word we want to say, or there are problems in functioning on an executive or operational level.
It happens that people with BKP do not manage well in space or do not recognize faces.
- Mild cognitive impairment is preceded by another step, which is the initial stage and form in the manifestation of the Alzheimer’s spectrum and is called subjective cognitive impairment. People complain of poor memory, they have certain language problems, but when you test them and when we try to establish a diagnosis, these people do not show any outbursts.
The pathogenesis lasts on average 12.5 years
Some experts believe that 50 percent of people who suffer from subjective cognitive impairment can develop BKP or Alzheimer’s disease in an average of 5 years. In 2019, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia were, according to some data, the seventh most common cause of death in the world.
- It is considered that what we see as Alzheimer’s disease, and as problems in the patient, is the beginning of the end of the disease. In the last 10 to 20 years, however, there has been a real, one might say, revolution in the field of diagnostics, all in the light of finding a therapy that could affect the course of the disease.
A cure for Alzheimer’s disease
After almost twenty years of research, the first cure for Alzheimer’s disease was approved in the United States in early July this year. However, experts are reluctant when it comes to the imminent use and effectiveness of this drug, and trials are continuing.
The new drug Aduhelm is a monoclonal antibody, it is given as an infusion, and the media announce it as a kind of future in medicine.
- The drug should act on the deposition of beta-amyloid, to prevent the development of beta-amyloid plaques, clean old beta-amyloid plaques, which are necessary for the development of Alzheimer’s disease. But testing is yet to come, on a wider population, to make sure we are fully operational. Some studies have shown that the drug is effective, but in others the number that is significant for improvement has not been obtained.
Not everyone who “can’t remember anything” will get Alzheimer’s disease
At this point, with existing imaging methods, it is possible to determine how much the brain of a certain patient is burdened with beta-amyloid. However, not every forgetting or inability to remember something at a certain moment is the beginning of an illness. There is also a normal aging process, and the late years of life do not have to be accompanied by this problem.
- Aging is not a disease and does not necessarily bring dementia. It can sometimes be a little slower processing, slower learning, but there are no pathological outbursts. In the brain, the rule is “use it, or lose it”, use it or lose it. At the annual level, that conversion is 12.5 percent, and at the three-year level, 45 percent.
It is estimated that people who have complained of unspecified cognitive problems in the last five years are 4.5 times more likely to develop BKP or Alzheimer’s disease.
- There is also the phenomenon of forgetting, but Alzheimer’s type dementia is when you forget everyday events, when you can’t remember what happened a few months ago at first, you don’t remember if some big event happened in your family, what happened to you the closest and most important. Episodic memory is impaired, and that is very important, because one of the most sensitive structures in the process of learning and remembering is episodic memory, learning new events, new information.
Lack of communication and withdrawal is a basic mistake
The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease of sporadic course, which accounts for 95% of all manifestations of Alzheimer’s, is not known. According to some statistics, every other person, after the age of 85, has some form of dementia, and it has been shown that after the age of 85, there is much less real Alzheimer’s disease. There are also many controversial reports, where, as our interlocutor warns, in one place he claims that something is especially good, and in another place he completely denies that same claim.
- Definitely developing cognitive abilities, outside of what you do, is beneficial for maintaining cognitive health. It is important to have hobbies, to socialize, to be in contact with people in later years. In older people, the main mistake is withdrawal and lack of communication.
What else can save the brain?
The importance of good therapy for hypertension, diabetes and elevated blood fats, as a preventive measure.
- Correction of vascular risk factors is important. Even the simplest walk is very useful. Activity, curiosity, mastering new skills is very useful. You should not be afraid of computers and smartphones, do not be ashamed that you will need more time to learn something. Every new skill is a “credit” that you will stay cognitively longer.
It is very important that a person constantly learns something, because we all have cognitive reserves that we acquire through learning, and which serve as a means to compensate for those functions that may fail. Curiosity is a particularly important factor.
- We realized in working with people that curious people, who cultivate interests, those who follow events in the world on any level, those who are constantly interested in something, those who learn, are well maintained at the cognitive level.
That is what helps, and when it comes to auxiliary medicines, which are advertised under the slogan “for better and faster memory”.