Education -- the best pill of all for preventing Alzheimer's?

Dec 20, 2006

A study published in PLoS ONE today addresses the impact of neuroprotection on Alzheimer's disease.

Remarkably, the study shows that even very modest neuroprotective effects at the cellular level can lead to dramatic reductions in the number of cases of Alzheimer's.

Based on data derived from 26 epidemiological studies worldwide (comprising over 60,000 subjects), Dr de la Fuente-Fernandez developed a simple mathematical model that will allow researchers to test the effect of new neuroprotective drugs.

Perhaps not too surprisingly, the study suggests however that the most effective neuroprotective therapy for Alzheimer's disease may well not be a pill, but education and intellectual activity. Mounting evidence accumulated over the last few years supports the notion that intellectual activity increases what neuroscientists call "the cognitive reserve".

According to the model, a mere 5% increase in the cognitive reserve in the general population would prevent one third of Alzheimer's cases.

Dr de la Fuente-Fernandez, a neurologist at the Hospital A. Marcide in Ferrol (Spain), points out that public health policies aimed at implementing higher levels of education in the general population are likely the best strategy for preventing Alzheimer's disease.

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Serious strain of bird flu found in Minnesota turkey flock

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New Hampshire bill requires cursive, multiplication tables

8 hours ago

As schools adopt new education standards and rely more on computers in the classroom, a group of New Hampshire senators want to make sure the basics of learning cursive and multiplication tables don't get left behind.

Recommended for you

Dialysis patients may have faulty 'good' cholesterol

10 hours ago

Kidney disease patients on dialysis often have impaired high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) ...

Freshwater algae can infect wounds, study shows

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The cases of two men who got injured while enjoying the great outdoors in Missouri and Texas are giving insight into a freshwater algae that can infect wounds.

Biomarker for fatty liver disease

18 hours ago

40 percent of people in the EU suffer from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (fatty liver disease), a disease which is becoming increasingly more frequent as a result of diabetes and excess weight in an affluent ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.