Good, Bad Highlight Alzheimer's Research

(WIBW) - More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's Disease.

The golden years don't necessarily hold a shining promise for our minds. Dr. Radu Teodoresu of Stormont-Vail's Senior Diagnostic Unit says, at the age of 85, there's a 50/50 a person will have some cognitive impairment. The most common form is Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, slowly robbing your brain function. Teodoresu says, in the condition, the brain accumulates protein. It's toxic to neurons, and they die faster than regular brain cells.

In recent years, some experts have touted supplements like fish oil and activities like brain puzzles to prevent the disease, but a new National Institutes of Health report that reviewed various Alzheimer's studies dimmed those hopes, finding no evidence they made a difference.

However, Teodoresu says studies do find lower incidence of Alzheimer's in people with higher education, suggesting perhaps lifelong workouts for the brain can stem the impact of the disease. He says it's a sort of coverup - the brain changes still happen, but the person has more capacity to compensate for them.

Plus, Teodoresu says it's clear medications do make a difference in slowing progression of the disease. Online questionnaires can help families spot signs of the disease like impaired judgment, confusion, misplacing items or repeating stories. The earlier doctors can begin to intervene, he says, the better a person will be.

Upcoming presentation:
Former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles' wife battled Alzheimer's. Broyles, his daughter and granddaughter will present workshops for caregivers and professionals

Caregivers (free)
6 to 8 pm June 3rd
Professionals (fee)
8 am to 5 pm June 4th
Pozez Education Center
1500 SW 10th, Topeka
call 785-271-1844 to register

Alzheimer's Memory Walk
9:45 am June 12th
Hummer Sports Park
call 785-271-1844 for info


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