One of the most terrifying conditions that haunts 21st century adults is the specter of Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia was once considered an unremarkable consequence of aging, but it has become clear that this degenerative brain disorder is not inevitable.
Scientists disagree on the basic causes of Alzheimer’s disease, but there is some evidence to show us how we might reduce our risk of the forgetfulness and confusion it brings. Dr. Murali Doraiswamy discusses the roles played by infections, brain injuries and certain medications. How can we make sure that Alzheimer’s disease is the correct diagnosis?
We also review whether it makes sense to use puzzles to try to keep the brain active, following the axiom of “use it or lose it.” We find out about the value of exercise for prevention. An anti-Alzheimer’s diet does not have to be unpleasant: cocoa flavonoids from chocolate and compounds from red wine, curry and coconut may all be beneficial. Learn how to sign up for a clinical trial if you are interested, and find out about Dr. Doraiswamy’s hopes for lowering the burden of Alzheimer’s disease in the future.
Guest: Murali Doraiswamy, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. He has served as an advisor to several companies doing research on treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. His book, co-written with Lisa Gwyther and Tina Adler, is The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: What You Need to Know–and What You Can Do–about Memory Problems, from Prevention to Early Intervention and Care. The website he mentioned to volunteer for clinical trials is the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study Group, www.adcs.org.
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