Dementia: What If All You’d Heard Was Wrong?

by Research Insights0 comments

Share this page:

‘71 million (American) baby boomers are heading for the risk age. It will be the biggest epidemic in medical history.’ Headlines like this are enough to terrify any boomer, but what if they’re wrong? We look at the epidemic through a fresh lens. The insights will surprise (and maybe delight) you.

Main Points

  • Dementia has reached epidemic proportions and there is no cure;
  • If we live long enough, 1 in 3 of us will be affected by it;
  • Dementia is the umbrella term; Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) accounts for over 60% of cases;
  • 100 years after AD was discovered; there is only one dementia drug still approved;
  • There are many ways we can reduce our dementia risk without drugs.

The great news for boomers is that Dementia can be avoided, prevented or even reversed, but don’t expect to find this on the news any time soon. Find out what eye-opening research from over 400 global sources has to say. Check out our short, plain English guide: Dementia: Keep Your Marbles.

Now we’re “Generation Alzheimer’s” – not Boomers

The quote above is from Rudolph Tanzi from the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. He’s someone who knows a thing or two about aging.

dementia-and-boomers-woman

But first some background: Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) accounts for two thirds of dementia cases, the next most common form is Parkinson’s Disease Dementia. AD is not reversible, they tell us, and its progress is unrelenting; it’s a long, lonesome road with a dead end. They call it ‘the memory thief’, a label designed not to scare young children, but let’s be clear: dementia is a ruthless killer who grabs your heart and never lets go, a sadist who torments you for years before death sets you free.

71 million (American) baby boomers are heading for the risk age. It will be the biggest epidemic in medical history.’

Rudolph Tanzi, Genetics and Aging Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dementia is an epidemic

Here are some of the gloomy statistics you’ll find if you Google ‘dementia’ or ‘Alzheimer’s Disease’:

  • Dementia is the number 1 cause of death for Australian women;
  • Dementia is the number 2 cause of death for male Aussies;
  • Half a million Aussies have dementia;
  • After 65, our risk of dementia doubles every 5 years;
  • If we reach age 85, 1 in 3 of us will be affected.

That means many of us boomers will end up demented, or caring for a partner or parent with dementia. Yet we don’t know what causes it, and medicine offers no effective treatment.

Over 100 drug candidates have been trialed over 20 years but only two have been approved by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The first was quietly withdrawn after just 12 months; the second (marketed by the same company, Biogen) was approved very recently, in January 2023. All the others have failed.

Despite this abysmal score card, dementia research continues apace along the same lines. The two drugs approved from Biogen (with the snappy names ‘Aduhelm’ (aducanumab) and ‘Leqembi’ (lecanemab)) are based on the same principles that haven’t proven effective. Many outside the pharma industry believe that this approval will lead to a rush of other based on the same questionable science, causing a strain on government pharmaceutical rebates and a handbrake on dementia research.

The amyloid theory just won’t die. In fact, by approving Biogen’s new Alzheimer’s disease drug, the FDA has just resurrected it for a long and healthy future.

This is great news for Biogen, but it will decimate Alzheimer’s research, faith in the agency and the healthcare budget for decades to come.’

Ben Adams, Fierce Biotech

Never Heard of ‘Type 3 Diabetes’?

Other researchers have looked beyond drugs for trends in the population outside the lab. They found that people with Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome (a precursor to diabetes) are at four-times the risk of cognitive dysfunction than fit and healthy people. The link is so strong that some researchers call Alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes.

It looks like brain cells starve and die due to a faulty glucose metabolism, insulin resistance and a reduced oxygen supply. Neurons stop working & lose connections with other neurons, and brain cell renewal (neurogenesis) is disrupted.

Trials in university clinics across the world have shown that specific diets and regular exercise regimes can not only slow or stop the progression of dementia in its early stages (Mild Cognitive Impairment), but even reverse it. You won’t hear about these results on the evening news, that’s why we created Muscles & Marbles.

Examples

The Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago ran multiple trials with almost 1000 participants on the MIND diet – a Mediterranean-style diet. The researchers found that it could postpone cognitive decline by 8 years.

dementia-and-boomers-weights

In a study at the University of Gothenburg, researchers tracked 200 women from 1968 to 2012 to check the link between fitness and dementia. 5% of the fittest women developed dementia compared with 32% of those with a low fitness score.

The SMART study run by the University of Sydney showed similar results with weight training. Study leader Yorgi Mavros said: ‘The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain.’ Regular strength training even improved cognitive function in participants with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

What we found is that the improvement in cognition function was related to their muscle strength gains. The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain.’

Dr Yorgi Mavros, University of Sydney

There is so much more to dementia than just waiting and hoping for a cure. More than that, there is a pile of things you can do to avoid, delay, prevent or even (in some cases) reverse dementia.

Find out this and much more in my ebook, Dementia: Keep Your Marbles.

Dementia

DEMENTIA:
KEEP YOUR MARBLES

Discover how Aussie boomers can delay or prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

References

Alzheimer’s, The ‘Biggest Epidemic In Medical History’ – Forbes
Cognitive Dysfunction and Diabetes Mellitus – National Institutes of Health
Exercise IS good for your brain – Daily Mail Australia
‘MIND Diet’ Foods May Prevent Alzheimer’s Mental Health Daily
Exercise reduces the risk of dementia in women ‘by almost 90 per cent’, New Daily Report on Gothernburg study

Kim Brebach

Kim Brebach

Hi, I’m Kim Brebach, boomer, information researcher, technical writer and Joiner of Dots at M&M. In my spare time, I review wines and love to cook.

[]
×
Like an EXTRA 5% OFF?

Claim your discount now

No thanks. I'm happy to pay the offered price. *You can unsubscribe at any time.