How to delay Alzheimer’s? Live longer…

Posted under Blog on May 10th, 2013 by Editorial Team / No Comments

Researchers in the US have found that families with exceptional longevity also appear to have later onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

While the same percentage of people in families surviving to the age of 90 and beyond is prey to Alzheimer’s disease as others, the progressive brain disorder tends to develop later in life, researchers say.

The research team looked at more than 1,800 participants (1,510 family members and 360 spouses as ‘controls’) in the US-Danish Long Life Family Study, which evaluated genetics and non-genetic factors associated with extreme longevity.

The researchers, led by Stephanie Cosentino, assistant professor of neuropsychology at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, found that older family members, with an average age of 88, had similar rates of mental decline as their spouses.  However, sons and daughters, with an average age of 70, of exceptionally long-lived people had less than half the risk of Alzheimer’s disease than their similarly aged spouses.

“Overall, a higher proportion of family members than their spouses were dementia-free until age 90,” said Stephanie Cosentino. “After 95 years of age, however, exceptionally long-lived individuals had a high preference of dementia, pointing to a delayed onset of mental impairment in families with exceptional longevity.”

So, this protection only delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease rather than preventing it. Individuals from long-lived families are therefore just as likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease as the rest of the population, just at a later age. 

Tags: Alzheimer's, US-Danish Long Life Family Study



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