Alzheimer’s Disease: Bad News and Good News
Seniors hoping to stay sharp in old age are bombarded with recommendations, from doing brainteasers to drinking red wine. But a recent review of research brings sobering news: Currently, there is no good evidence that any supplement, medication, diet or behavior change actually prevents Alzheimer’s or other age-related cognitive decline.
Such a grim verdict on a much-dreaded disease might seem like cause for despair. It’s not, say researchers.
“The bad news is we have nothing that’s been proven to prevent Alzheimer’s disease,” said Cynthia Carlsson, a professor and Alzheimer’s researcher at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, who was not on the panel that reviewed the research. “But the good news is we’re really at a tremendous point in understanding more about the disease causes.”
For instance, evidence is mounting to suggest Alzheimer’s damages the brain well before outward mental impairment shows up. So if doctors had tools to identify these pre-symptomatic individuals, they could start early treatments to help at least slow the mental slide.