Sunday, May 22, 2011

Educate Yourself on Alzheimer's- New Studies that Will Surprise You

In a blog I wrote a while back on healthy aging and elderly safety, I spoke about how education is such a valuable resource for people who want to maintain an active, healthy life. Being constantly in fear of your health and aging is not any way to enjoy retirement. You have to take the time to learn about your health issues, your lifestyle, and the things that will help you live the longest, healthiest life possible. In doing some research on different topics, I found a new article that was quite intriguing. While I've done research that shows that walking and exercise can help both COPD and Alzheimer's on my lifestyle and medical alert blog, this new article was quite eye-catching.

According to new studies being done, it seems that there is a gene for Alzheimer's Risk that disrupts the wiring of the brain as much as 50 years before the disease actually strikes. There has been knowledge of genetic involvement in Alzheimer's for a long time, but this is totally new information that has been made available. In a study done at UCLA, this new gene was tested and studied to figure out exactly what it does. Known as the CLU gene, it shows the ability to start damaging the brain as much as 50 years before the normal onset of Alzheimer's.

During the study, researchers took the time to scan the brains of those who had this gene as well as those who didn’t, and the result was that young, healthy people who carried this gene were already showing a decrease in the integrity of white matter in the brain. That means that they're already showing effects that are putting their brains at risk for developing full-blown Alzheimer's in the future. This is remarkable, but also scary for many people.

Fortunately, as research continues to become available and give people the resources that they need, it will hopefully be easier to pinpoint the effects of genes and find a way to stop them from leading to this terrible condition. My mother suffered from Alzheimer's and I personally don't want to face it for myself after seeing what she went through. This study proved that 88% of the Caucasian population has this gene and while all of them don't end up getting Alzheimer's, it does put them all at risk for developing the condition. Hopefully they will continue to develop this research and find a way to put it to good use.

Mary Albert is a health and lifestyle blogger at Lifestyle Health guide. She commonly writes about aging and health issues as well as medical alert systems.

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