Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Can Alzheimer's disease be prevented?


If you are close to Edinburgh, you can attend in person, if not it will have to be the private plane again, but remember the drinks reception is free. Otherwise, this will give you a pointer to a researcher working in the field. Symbol-digit is the quickest and most reliable test of memory problems in the elderly. Who says paper and pencil tests don’t have real life applications?

The first seminar in the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology's 2014-15 seminar series will take place next Tuesday, 7th October 2014 at 5pm in F21, Department of Psychology, 7 George Square. Admission is free, booking is not necessary and the seminar will be followed by a drinks reception in the department concourse.

The seminar will be given by Professor Karen Ritchie, senior Research Director with the French National Institute of Medical Research (INSERM) and Honorary Professor with the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Imperial College, London.

Title: "Putting your money where your mouth is: can we design programmes to prevent Alzheimer's disease?".

Summary: Once considered an inevitable part of ageing, the dementias are now recognized as pathologies distinct from the normal brain ageing process.
Consequently over the past three decades both clinical and epidemiological studies have aimed to demonstrate risk factors specific to dementia, notably Alzheimer's disease. Of the large number of significant risk and protective factors which have been found, many of these are potentially reversible and statistical modelling suggests that reducing exposure may have an even greater impact on future disease incidence than altering genetic predisposition. Most of these exposures occur in middle-age suggesting the need for a life-time approach, intervention strategies which target younger populations and a reconsideration of Alzheimer's disease clinical criteria.


  1. "protective factors"

    Like what? I'll start doing the ASAP.

  2. Dr. Thompson,

    Are Alzheimer's disease and dementia distinct from plain old senility?

  3. Plain old senility turns out to be a puzzle, but longevity researchers have a plan to solve it, perhaps. As to the differential diagnosis, Alzheimer's is a subset of dementia, and vascular causes of dementia are frequent, though less publicized. Senility itself may be a disease which we can postpone more efficiently once we know the underlying cause, probably due to a failure to repair cell damage that might be controlled some day.

    1. Thanks, sir, for your reply to my question.

  4. Any opinion on the turmeric cure? Can we assume the Turmeric Marketing Board are responsible?