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: Saudi Arabia reports two more deaths from MERS virus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Secret life of cells revealed with new technique

28 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —A new technique that allows researchers to conduct experiments more rapidly and accurately is giving insights into the workings of proteins important in heart and muscle diseases.

Abundance of Chesapeake Bay's underwater grasses increases

28 minutes ago

An annual survey led by researchers at William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that the abundance of underwater grasses in Chesapeake Bay increased 24 percent between 2012 and 2013, reversing ...

Security and privacy concerns regarding connected vehicles

8 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —A majority of Americans, Australians and Britons believe that connected-vehicle technology will make driving safer, but most are also concerned about security and privacy, according to a University ...

Recommended for you

Saudi Arabia reports pilgrim infected with MERS

17 minutes ago

In the past 24 hours, Saudi Arabia has reported four new deaths from a Middle East virus related to SARS and 36 more cases of infection, including a Turkish pilgrim in Mecca.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Team reprograms blood cells into blood stem cells in mice

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have reprogrammed mature blood cells from mice into blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), using a cocktail of eight genetic switches called transcription factors. The reprogrammed ...

Cell resiliency surprises scientists

New research shows that cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an alternative ...