ADVERTISEMENT

Alzheimer’s Disease: Can We Treat It 20 Years Before It Strikes?

Changes in the brain start 20 years before actual symptoms of Alzheimer’s set in. So can it be prevented?

Updated
India
4 min read
By 2030 there will be 70 million people in the world with Alzheimer’s.
i

(World Alzheimer’s Day, 21 September of each year, is a day on which Alzheimer’s organisations around the world concentrate on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning.)

Every four seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the world. It is the most common cause of dementia affecting more than 47 million people worldwide, yet, a cure remains elusive.

But thanks to scientists at the Rush University Medical Centre in the US, the disease might soon be treated even before you have it.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Research

If this latest breakthrough is fine-tuned to be 100% sensitive, it will be a huge step in saving millions of lives from fading into the oblivion (Photo: iStock)
If this latest breakthrough is fine-tuned to be 100% sensitive, it will be a huge step in saving millions of lives from fading into the oblivion (Photo: iStock)

Indian origin scientist Dr Kumar Rajan and his team at the Rush University Medical Center, followed 2,125 healthy elderly people for nearly two decades. Every three years, the researchers gave the volunteers a specially designed mental skill test, and then compared these results over time.

The group that went on to get an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, had a steady decline in cognitive abilities throughout the study period. In fact each time their test results dropped, the risk of future Alzheimer’s increased by 85%.

Now these are exciting findings but can’t be the only criteria of predicting an individual’s risk of getting Alzheimer’s. But they do set the foundation for devising a definitive test which can be used in routine health examination of middle-aged people to see if there is a cognitive decline.

An indicator for Alzheimer’s at stage zero,  will give a much larger window to delay the onset of clinical symptoms and even give time for preventive steps, like mental stimulation and exercise, to reverse the fogging of the brain.

Why India Has a Low Alzheimer’s Rate

India is the diabetes and heart disease capital of the world but surprisingly we have much healthier brains (Photo: iStock)
India is the diabetes and heart disease capital of the world but surprisingly we have much healthier brains (Photo: iStock)

India has a 5 times lower rate of Alzheimer’s than America. Recently scientists from the University of California found, that a compound curcumin keeps the brain sharp and reduces Alzheimer’s symptoms by 30%. It is rich in antioxidants and effectively helps in removing plaque formation in the brain.

Now curcumin (not cumin) is a component of turmeric, which Indians have been using in cooking since centuries. However, it is not known if this is the sole reason for a healthier Indian brain.

Scientists recommend 500 - 1000 milligrams of turmeric consumption in a day along with vitamin D supplements to keep the brain from fogging. Now one teaspoon of turmeric is roughly 200 milligrams - so it would be a good idea to switch to good old haldiwala doodh after dinner.

(The article was first published on 27 June, 2105. It is being reposted from The Quint’s archives for World Alzheimer’s Day.)

ADVERTISEMENT

The Research

If this latest breakthrough is fine-tuned to be 100% sensitive, it will be a huge step in saving millions of lives from fading into the oblivion (Photo: iStock)
If this latest breakthrough is fine-tuned to be 100% sensitive, it will be a huge step in saving millions of lives from fading into the oblivion (Photo: iStock)

Indian origin scientist Dr Kumar Rajan and his team at the Rush University Medical Center, followed 2,125 healthy elderly people for nearly two decades. Every three years, the researchers gave the volunteers a specially designed mental skill test, and then compared these results over time.

The group that went on to get an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, had a steady decline in cognitive abilities throughout the study period. In fact each time their test results dropped, the risk of future Alzheimer’s increased by 85%.

Now these are exciting findings but can’t be the only criteria of predicting an individual’s risk of getting Alzheimer’s. But they do set the foundation for devising a definitive test which can be used in routine health examination of middle-aged people to see if there is a cognitive decline.

An indicator for Alzheimer’s at stage zero,  will give a much larger window to delay the onset of clinical symptoms and even give time for preventive steps, like mental stimulation and exercise, to reverse the fogging of the brain.

Why India Has a Low Alzheimer’s Rate

India is the diabetes and heart disease capital of the world but surprisingly we have much healthier brains (Photo: iStock)
India is the diabetes and heart disease capital of the world but surprisingly we have much healthier brains (Photo: iStock)

India has a 5 times lower rate of Alzheimer’s than America. Recently scientists from the University of California found, that a compound curcumin keeps the brain sharp and reduces Alzheimer’s symptoms by 30%. It is rich in antioxidants and effectively helps in removing plaque formation in the brain.

Now curcumin (not cumin) is a component of turmeric, which Indians have been using in cooking since centuries. However, it is not known if this is the sole reason for a healthier Indian brain.

Scientists recommend 500 - 1000 milligrams of turmeric consumption in a day along with vitamin D supplements to keep the brain from fogging. Now one teaspoon of turmeric is roughly 200 milligrams - so it would be a good idea to switch to good old haldiwala doodh after dinner.

(The article was first published on 27 June, 2105. It is being reposted from The Quint’s archives for World Alzheimer’s Day.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published: 
Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Quint Insider
500
1800
5000

or more

PREMIUM

3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Insider Benefits
ADVERTISEMENT
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!
ADVERTISEMENT