Best Alzheimer’s Research Finding: Don’t Quit Your Job!

July 29, 2013

The annual conference of the Alzheimer’s Association is one of the world’s largest events of its kind, bringing together 5,000+ professionals to discuss the latest issues and news in dementia and Alzheimer’s research.  It’s notable that this year, the conference included sessions with professional caregivers and the general public.  Dementia Care @ AAIC was a program highlighting investigation on the best practices in “person-centered care”.

200147657-001Here are highlights from the research:

Of all the trends discussed, perhaps the only one we can utilize right away is the observation that retirement at an older age reduces your risk of dementia.   After studying nearly half a million workers in France, it was found that those who stay in the work force longer experience lower chances of developing dementia.  Additionally, the risk abatement continues with each year you stay professionally engaged.   The idea here is not new… ongoing mental challenge and social stimulation are key to helping your mind stay sharp.  It’s something we all can do.

There is a definitive link between cancer and a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.   The research found that cancer sufferers who had chemotherapy had even better chances of avoiding Alzheimer’s.  Scientists do not know what the link is, but this may give rise to new research.

A certain diabetes drug, metformin (an insulin sensitizer) significantly reduces the risk of developing AD.  Diabetes patients who were on metformin had reduced chances of developing Alzheimer’s diabetes sufferers that took other diabetes remedies.

Online tests for to determine if you have Alzheimer’s are unreliable.  A panel of Canadian scientists evaluated 16 tests that can be found online and concluded they are poor predictors of having the disease.   Alzheimer’s can only be definitively diagnosed in an autopsy.   If you are not up for that, diagnosis should be left to trained professionals with significant experience in the disease.

 

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