News / Health

Studies Raise New Hope on Alzheimer's Prevention

FILE - Alzheimer's disease patient Isidora Tomaz, 82, sits in an armchair in her house in Lisbon, Portugal, Sept.15, 2009.
FILE - Alzheimer's disease patient Isidora Tomaz, 82, sits in an armchair in her house in Lisbon, Portugal, Sept.15, 2009.
VOA News

Scientists say lifestyle changes, such as healthier eating and more education, could prevent people from developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Several studies presented this week at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Copenhagen support this view.

One trial in Finland found two years of exercising, diet, cognitive training and other changes improved people's memory function.

Research also shows a decline in the rate of dementia in the United States, Germany and other developed countries.  A U.S. study concluded an American over age 60 today has a 44 percent lower chance of developing dementia than a person the same age 30 years ago.

Researchers say reasons for this could be declines in smoking, heart disease and strokes - all factors linked to dementia - as well as improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

But scientists caution that the growth of diabetes and obesity could offset these gains.  And in poor countries, behind in education and health, dementia seems to be rising.

In the United States, more than five million people have Alzheimer's.  The non-profit Alzheimer's Disease International says dementia, of which Alzheimer's is the most common form, affects more than 44 million people worldwide.  The group says that number is expected to triple to more than 135 million by 2050.

The age-related brain condition, which gradually robs patients of their ability to think, remember and care for themselves, is rising partly because people are living longer.

In addition to the focus on lifestyle as prevention, some are looking to medications to fight Alzheimer's.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis plans to test two experimental Alzheimer's drugs in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease, but do not yet have symptoms.  The company is collaborating with the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in the U.S. state of Arizona.

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid