U. S. News & World Report (June 14, 2010): Lifestyle Changes Are No Guarantee Against Alzheimer's

Publication Date: 
Mon, 06/14/2010

There is not enough evidence to say that improving your lifestyle can protect you against Alzheimer's disease, a new review finds.

A group put together by the U.S. National Institutes of Health looked at 165 studies to see if lifestyle, diet, medical factors or medications, socioeconomic status, behavioral factors, environmental factors and genetics might help prevent the mind-robbing condition.

Although biological, behavioral, social and environmental factors may contribute to the delay or prevention of cognitive decline, the review authors couldn't draw any firm conclusions about an association between modifiable risk factors and cognitive decline or Alzheimer's disease.

However, one expert doesn't believe the report represents all that is known about Alzheimer's.

"I found the report to be overly pessimistic and sometimes mistaken in their conclusions, which are largely drawn from epidemiology, which is almost always inherently inconclusive," said Greg M. Cole, associate director of the Alzheimer's Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The real problem is that everything scientists know suggests that intervention needs to occur before cognitive deficits begin to show themselves, Cole noted.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2010/06/14/lifestyle-changes-are-no-guarantee-against-alzheimers.html