8.06.2004

Diet, lifestyle changes could give breakthrough in Alzheimer's Press Trust of India

Diet, lifestyle and various medicines are being explored in the fight against Alzheimer's disease, a devastating neuro-degenerative condition that affects almost one in 50 people in industrialised countries.

An article in the issue of Nature due out today says that although the incidence of the disease is predicted to increase threefold in the next half century, the prospects of preventing and treating it are not entirely gloomy.

According to the study, carried out by Mark Mattson of the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Maryland, recent research has indicated ways of defending against the disease and treating patients already suffering from its symptoms.

"Rapid progress towards understanding the cellular and molecular alterations that are responsible for the demise of neurons may soon help in developing effective preventative and therapeutic strategies," Mattson said.

In the meantime, according to Mattson, the same kind of measures that may prevent cardiovascular disease, including modifications of diet and exercise, also seem to have a beneficial effect against Alzheimer's.

These include increased physical exercise and diets low in calories, cholesterol and saturated fats. In addition, the article said mental stimulation may also help prevent the demise of neurons responsible for Alzheimer's symptoms.

Mattson said other promising therapies include vitamins, B, C and E; cholesterol-reducing drugs known as statins, aspirin and other anti-inflammatory agents, anti-oxidants and substances that neutralize excesses of iron and copper in the brain.

from the Hindustan Times



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