Okay, let me get this straight. We are looking for new science to stop an aged population from getting Alzheimer’s and getting dependent on others for that structured “senile” type care that is expensive and — let’s be honest — usually not enough to keep people really productive.
The first of the two studies reported here is basically saying that people with lower amounts of measurable beta amyloid marker have more cognitive decline over the nine years studied. Another report on the elusive “marker” for Alzheimer’s. If someone can tell with a blood test that you got it, what are you going to do? There are several drug companies, presumably including the folks at Avid Pharmaceuticals, who sponsored the second study, for a molecule that binds to the protein that ends up in microscopically visible “tangles” that show up in biopsies and autopsies of Alzheimer’s type brain tissue. It is also reported that educated people are less likely to get Alzheimer’s. Frankly, this sort of finding is usually attributed to a “use it or lose it” analogy to the physical workout. In some ways this is true. I remember some lovely studies when I was in France that led La Nation to tell seniors to slowly practice memorizing their shopping lists, and they did indeed seem to improve their recent memory.
I also remember a study I suspect the rest of the world has forgotten, called the “Minneapolis Nun Study.” Read more on Misguided Research Is Dithering Around Alzheimer’s Again…