Straight Talk about AD Risk Reduction

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

Last week, the LA Times published a good overview on some recent studies about reducing risks for Alzheimer's disease.

Among the risks described were high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking and high-fat diets. Among those preventative approaches highlighted by recent press were the so-called Mediterranean diet and exercising regularly. Other lifestyle factors, such as doing the daily crossword puzzle and/or maintaining an active social life have been associated with lowered Alzheimer's risk and were briefly discussed.

A key feature that I appreciated in this overview, one that I notice is often neglected in the popular press, was the careful treatment of "causal relationships". Although many "risks" (i.e. high cholesterol, smoking, etc.) are associated with higher incidence of Alzheimer's disease, they may not represent a direct causal relationship.

The correlation between certain conditions and a higher or lower incidence of disease gives scientists the opportunity to generate and test hypotheses but most of the studies we read about today are not as definitive as the headlines often indicate. This particular article is exemplar in its description of causality and the tone of its conclusions.

A better understanding and more awareness of Alzheimer's related issues can impact personal health decisions and generate significant impact across a population of aging individuals. Please use the share button below to spread this educational message as widely as possible.

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