This week there was an article in the New York Times that indicated if people receive treatment for their medical issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol they may be less likely to progress to full- blown Alzheimer’s. I am providing the full article below.
Older people suffering from mild memory and cognition problems may be less likely to progress to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease if they receive treatment for medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, a new study has found.
In 2004, researchers at Daping Hospital in Chongqing, China, began following 837 residents ages 55 and older who had mild cognitive impairment but not dementia. Of these, 414 had at least one medical condition that can impair blood flow to the brain.
After five years, 298 of the participants had developed Alzheimer’s. Subjects who had had high blood pressure or other vascular problems at the beginning of the study were twice as likely to develop the dementia, compared with those without these risks, the researchers found. Half of those with vascular risks progressed to Alzheimer’s, compared with only 36 percent of those without.
Among those with vascular problems, those who received treatment were almost 40 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who did not, the study also reported. The researchers suggested that vascular risk factors may affect the metabolism of beta-myeloid plaque, which accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and seems to play a pivotal role in the disease.
The study was last week in the journal Neurology.
 Patterns: Treating Other Conditions May Stave Off Alzheimer’s, Study Finds, by Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, April 19, 2011 page D6.