We were so fortunate to attend the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, the world’s largest forum for the Alzheimer’s and related conditions, in Los Angeles this week.

We attended alongside world-leading, scientific, technical and clinical, experts learning about the latest developments, research findings and dementia science through a series of workshops, plenary speeches, research sessions and lectures.

AAIC is always extremely valuable, enabling us to share and extend our knowledge about the cause and diagnosis, the risk factors, emerging pharmacolocical treatments and life style modifications to improve outcome for those with Alzheimer’s disease.

Although, as with all medical conditions, there are setbacks in the ultimate quest for a cure, the atmosphere at the conference was one of energy and determined optimism to find new biomarkers to enable early accurate diagnosis and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Key highlights of the conference include:

Focus on women:

  • Why women have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and why the disease progresses more rapidly in the female brain. It is thought that tau spreads faster in a female brain than a male brain. The different sexes have different hormone systems, which change various life stages as well as different immune systems – the brain is thought to be the same. More research is under way to study the differences in male and female brains.
  • How a salaried job, working outside of the family home can improve memory in later life. It was previously thought that women were more susceptible to Alzheimer’s Disease because they live longer than men. However, aspects such as financial independence, socialising and the cognitive stimulation associated with working are thought to be key influences in improving memory in later life.

Lifestyle habits offsetting genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease:

In a recent study, it was revealed that people with high genetic risk factors who adopted healthy lifestyle behaviours were half as likely to develop dementia, compared to those with the same genetic risk factors who didn’t adopt healthy lifestyles.

The key learning from this is, despite the risk factor, a healthy lifestyle will deliver huge benefits. The lifestyle behaviours observed in the study included:

  • Not smoking
  • Following a low-fat diet
  • Exercising moderately– vigorously for 150 minutes a week
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation
  • Engaging in cognitive activities

At Re:Cognition Health, our team of brain and mind experts have always been strong advocates for safeguarding against dementia with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

  • Diagnostics– several scientists presented their latest research on how identifying new biomarkers could lead to better tests for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of dementia. The team are working on developing tests to distinguish between Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s dementia and Lewy body dementia.
  • New blood tests on the horizon for detecting Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in the brain at the very earliest stage, enabling the individual to start on an intervention and treatment plan, as soon as possible. This test indicates individuals who require more extensive testing and is 88% accurate at predicting the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, the diagnostic tests are invasive and expensive so are not undertaken, routinely. This blood test could be a game changer in Alzheimer’s disease detection.

Our Re:Cognition Health teams in the UK and USA have been highly enthused and encouraged by the developments in Alzheimer’s research, presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference and are committed more than ever to diagnosing, treating and researching into this highly important field, helping to pave a way for a future without dementia due to Alzheimer’s Disease.

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