Originally created 07/10/02

Lists possible factors in Alzheimer's



In the "News you can use" feature entitled "Water Facts" (June 24 Metro), a publication called To your health was quoted as saying "A primary cause of Alzheimer's disease is chronic dehydration."

The truth is, no one yet knows what causes Alzheimer's disease. (But) in the last year, much has been learned about factors that may contribute to Alzheimer's onset:

Significant findings from key studies have improved our understanding of plaques and tangles in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and, eventually, may lead to the development of treatments to slow the effects.

Discovery of a previously unknown lesion, characteristic of Alzheimer's, may lead researchers to further understand and treat the disease.

Studies of the inflammatory processes of the brain and the role of oxidative stress in Alzheimer's disease have led to preliminary indications of the beneficial use of anti-inflammatories, such as Ibuprofen, and anti-oxidants, such as vitamin E.

Several other lines of ongoing research may lead to a deeper understanding of the processes that take place in the Alzheimer brain. These include research into: Genetic factors; role of estrogen; inflammation and oxidative stress on brain cell processes.

The Alzheimer's Association has always supported basic research... Until a cure is found, the most up-to-date information regarding Alzheimer's disease can be obtained by contacting the local office at (706) 731-9060 or on-line at www.alzga.org

Lora Hydrick, Augusta

(Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc./Augusta Chapter.)