Today, dementia is compared to a real epidemic – the number of cases in different countries of the world is growing markedly. It is known that degenerative disorders cannot be cured, but they can be prevented if the first signs are noticed in time and preventive measures are taken.
Cambridge scientists conducted a study in which they determined that it was possible to detect signs of brain damage 9 years before making a disappointing diagnosis. So, earlier to start rehabilitation and prevent the rapid progression of the disorder. The results of the work are published in Alzheimers & Dementia.
Researchers studied a database containing anonymous genetic information, as well as information about the lifestyle and health of half a million Britons. The age of the subjects is 40-69 years. The data of a number of tests that the biobank participants underwent were also examined – they included problem solving, memory assessment, reaction time and grip strength. In addition, data on weight gain or loss were counted. This made it possible to “look” at these people long before the moment of the study.
As a result, it turned out that those who developed Alzheimer’s disease showed lower results compared to healthy people in terms of problem solving, reaction time, remembering numbers, prospective memory capabilities (we are talking about the ability of the brain to remember what needs to be done later) , as well as when comparing pairs. Similar results were found in those people who were diagnosed with a rarer form of dementia – frontotemporal.
In addition, compared with healthy controls, those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease were more likely to fall over the past year. Those who developed a rare neurological condition – progressive supranuclear palsy, which affects balance, fell twice as often as healthy people.
In cases where Parkinson’s disease was diagnosed, as well as dementia with Lewy bodies, there was a deterioration in the general condition.
The results of such work, the researchers noted, should help in the development of alertness in relation to cognitive impairment and timely prevention and examinations in people who feel that they have some kind of deviation in mental activity.
In preparing the material, the following sources were used: