New Study Shows Inflammation Plays a Major Role in Dementia

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A new British study finds there might be a link between brain inflammation and dementia. Thomas Cope, who’s on the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge, expressed that the department was surprised how tightly the problems were linked even though it was predicted there’d be a link. The department is optimistic that as a result of this finding, new treatment can be developed for many types of dementia.

The study was conducted through brain scans of 31 patients who had three types of frontotemporal dementia. FTD is a group of conditions that result from abnormal junk proteins building up in the brain. In the result of all three types of FTD, where there was more inflammation, there was a greater buildup of junk proteins. Since it’s possible cell damage can trigger inflammation, 12 brains were analyzed after death to confirm the link.

Higher risk of dementia among Hispanics

It’s been discovered that the Hispanic community, in comparison to other ethnic or racial groups, may have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association believes that cases could increase more than six-fold, from less than 200,000 today to up to 1.3 million by the year 2050. The rise in these cases places a uniquely challenging burden on Hispanic communities.

The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is age. The prevalence of the disease doubles every five years after the age of 65. Nearly half of all people age 85 and older develop Alzheimer’s. Within the Hispanic community, there’s a disproportionate representation of high-risk older age groups. It’s expected by the year 2050, the life expectancy of Hispanics will increase to age 87, and the community will represent 16% of the total elderly population.

Current research now suggests that vascular diseases such as diabetes can be risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and stroke-related dementia. There are high rates of vascular disease within the Hispanic community. In particular, diabetes is 64% higher among Hispanic Americans, in comparison to non-Hispanic white Americans. Among older Mexican Americans, a study found that type 2 diabetes and hypertension were contributing to more cases of dementia in this ethnic group compared to people of European Ancestry. In addition, almost half of all Mexican dementia patients had also had diabetes, stroke, or both.

How to reduce the risk of Dementia

Healthy lifestyle choices can help diminish the risks of dementia in the elderly. It’s important to be conscious of the choice of food that’s eaten, the amount of exercise that’s performed, and the levels of stress one experiences. In relation to physical exercise, it’s said that movement helps to get the brain going. It’s recommended that learning should be a hands-on affair, which gets the body active and makes the brain active.

An option for getting the body and brain active could be choosing to do an escape room. Escape rooms are a time-limited game where a team has to search through a specially designed room with clues, puzzles, and tasks. The object of the game is to find the clues, figure out the puzzles, successfully complete the tasks, and escape the room. Escape rooms have grown in popularity at a high rate in the last five years. Elderly Hispanics can get the benefit of hands-on learning and physical movement that can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Another option that can be helpful is seeking chiropractic care. All over the world every day, more than 1 million chiropractic adjustments are given. These adjustments can help to improve the function of the central nervous system, which as a result, helps to improve brain function. Spinal misalignments can cause the brain to not get enough glucose and other nutrients, which can lead to dementia. A chiropractor can help to put the spine back into proper alignment, helping the brain to get the proper amount of nutrients that it needs, and reducing the risk or the symptoms of dementia.

A case study was conducted on a 54-year-old man with dementia. He suffered from loss of motor control and memory loss related to performing household tasks. When the 54-year-old received chiropractor care, the adjustments improved his motor control and slowed down his memory loss. It’s a promising sign for those with elderly relatives who have dementia, or at risk of getting dementia.

Continued research will lead to more discoveries of potential treatments that can reduce the risk of dementia and improve the quality of life for those with the disease.