Exercise remains best way to combat 'long goodbye'
Gloucestershire Echo (England)
COULD scientists be close to finding a vaccine or cure for Alzheimer's disease? While, unfortunately, the answer is 'not yet', there does seem a case for saying exercise and diet and a healthy lifestyle could go some way to preventing the disease. A discussion by two leading scientific researchers into the disease which will affect 50 per cent of all 90 year-olds in the
With life expectancy increasing, rates of Alzheimer's will also increase and the
He said: "Were all familiar with flu, we feel low, we can't concentrate at work, we don't want to go out and party - an inflammation outside the brain affects brain function temporarily."
The Professor's thesis was that such inflammations, which could also include trauma such as falls, caused inflammation in a healthy brain, but with only minor effects. But in a brain with a lot of amyloid plaques such inflammation had serious consequences - it caused brain cells to die, and lead to the deterioration of memory and intellectual function that gives Alzheimer's disease the nickname of 'the long goodbye'.
Professor Holmes said: "Exer-cise, I'm afraid, is the best way of preventing Alzheimer's, walking for 20 minutes three or four times a week cuts the likelihood of Alzheimer's three-or-four-fold."
Professor Nicoll described the process of investigating whether immunising patients with the disease with a specific protein prevented the build-up of that protein into amyloid plaques on the brain.
He said: "The studies showed that immunising people compared to the placebo group, did reduce the amount of plaque on the brain. I thought this was going to be the treatment for Alzheimer's, but unfortunately it didn't seem to make a difference in loss of cognitive function, or life expectancy.
"We don't quite know why." The talk at the festival was sponsored by the
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