Latest research on decreasing Alzheimer’s risk
A recent study has suggested the drug, Donanemab, a monoclonal antibody, may be a promising agent for slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease during the early stages. Results in a recent randomised control trial (RCT) with 1,736 participants demonstrated that the drug significantly slowed clinical progression at 76 weeks (Sims et al., 2023). This has led Alzheimer’s Research UK to call for the drug to be put forward for regulatory review (ARUK, 2023). Whilst important research into a cure for Alzheimer’s disease persists, equally importantly is the field of Alzheimer’s disease prevention. A recent study (Jia et al., 2023) indicated several key nutrition and lifestyle changes, that were associated with decreased risk of developing the disease:
- a healthy diet (adherence to the recommended intake of at least 7 of 12 eligible food items, including – fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, dairy products, salt, oil, eggs, cereals, legumes, nuts, and tea)
- regular physical exercise (≥ 150 min of moderate intensity or ≥75 min of vigorous intensity, per week)
- active social contact (≥ twice per week)
- active cognitive activity (≥ twice per week), never or previously smoked, and never drinking alcohol.
Of all the factors assessed, healthy diet was indicated to be the most significantly protective factor (P<0.001), followed by, in order of statistical significance, active cognitive activity (P<0.001), regular physical exercise (P<0.001), active social contact (P<0.001), never or former smoker ( P=0.026), and never drinking alcohol (P=0.048).
Jia, J., Zhao, T., Liu, Z., Liang, Y., Li, F., Li, Y., Liu, W., Li, F., Shi, S., Zhou, C., Yang, H., Liao, Z., Li, Y., Zhao, H., Zhang, J., Zhang, K., Kan, M., Yang, S., Li, H., Liu, Z., … Cummings, J. (2023). Association between healthy lifestyle and memory decline in older adults: 10 year, population based, prospective cohort study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 380, e072691. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-072691