On one part of the sidewalk there is the slow walking, dazed and confused rise of dementia in those people who are now in their early or middle 60’s, due to the aging of America’s Baby Boomers. On the other part of the same concrete path of mobility is the rise and encouragement of scientific studies, reports, encouraging statistics and positive measures currently being taken to slow the creeping onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementedness.
Recent research has revealed new information concerning persons who will be burdened with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. The good news is, the body of work being conducted continues to increase and add to the library of knowledge already accumulated. This work is allowing doctors a more open window to view these diseases related to aging.
One study, published July 30, 2014, in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry suggests those adults in middle-age who have a history of a drinking problem may be afflicted with severe memory loss in their later years. This particular study was conducted by a research team associated with the University of Exeter Medical School, Plymouth, Great Britain. The researchers studied 6,542 middle-age adults who were born between the years 1931 and 1941, and the association of the history of alcohol abuse with the onset of severe memory and cognitive impediment. The subjects were initially evaluated in 1992, with more assessments every other year between 1996 and 2010.
The individuals who had a record of alcohol use disorders (AUDs), increased their odds of acquiring memory impairment by more than 50 percent. It is already known an association exists between dementia and current levels of alcohol use. What has not been confirmed is the use and association of alcohol abuse and the difficulty with memory problems later in life. This research indicates more studies are required to probe prospective harms connected to the consumption of alcohol throughout one’s life.
Taking a walk with dementia is more than just a stroll around the block. Another study which involved close to 27,000 adults discovered almost one in 10 met circumstances for pre-dementia using a simple test measuring how fast or slow a person walks and whether or not they have cognitive complaints. Persons who tested with positive results concerning pre-dementia were more inclined to progress towards dementia in 12 years or less. This study performed by researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, New York, New York, published their study online July 16, 2014, for the American Academy of Neurology, in their medical journal, Neurology.
Motoric cognitive risk syndrome (MCR), is a newly diagnosed syndrome and the results rely on measuring the gait of an older adult while walking, combined with asking several questions concerning a person’s ability to process information. Both of these tests can be administered in a few minutes time and do not require medical technology to gain immediate results. An early identification is important as it allows recognition with possible treatment of causes of dementia and may postpone the onset of this disease. People who meet the standard specifications for MCR will benefit from more investigative procedures that determine the workings involved with their cognitive and gait issues, may also reveal other health problems.
More research is uncovering information concerning the strong link between brain health and cardiovascular health. For example, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and hypertension have an adverse affect on blood flow to the brain, causing an increase of a person’s risk in the development of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. At the present time no definite cause of MCR has been identified, but embracing healthy lifestyle patterns may slow the speed of one’s cognitive decline. Alcohol and dementia are closely linked, while walking more briskly may have the sobering effect of taking dementia out for a walk and leaving it somewhere unfound.
By Andy Towle
For more information on Alzheimer’s and Dementia click here Dementia Delayed with Proper Treatment