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Advances in Alzheimer's Disease

25 years ago, we knew very little about Alzheimer's disease. . .and dementia was considered an inevitable part of aging.  Now, even though Alzheimer's disease is a devastating and progressive brain disorder, ongoing research provides new information-AND HOPE--regularly.

Progress has been made in understanding the disease, its genetics, and its early diagnosis and treatment.  Hope is focused on the fact that Alzheimer's disease may not be inevitable after all:  recent studies have shown that the amyloid plaques in the brain which cause Alzheimer's symptoms may be related to the atherolsclerotic plaques caused by high cholesterol.  . .and that taking certain cholesterol lowering drugs may delay symptoms.  Early encouraging research for women suggested that estrogen replacement therapy might possibly reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's, although the recent Women's Health Initiative study did not support any benefit on brain function or reduced dementia.  Promising studies of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and even aspirin suggest that they may have a role in decreasing the risk of Alzheimer's.

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Created: 6/8/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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