Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease—The Hidden Midlife Crisis

Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease—The Hidden Midlife Crisis

Midlife may be a critical juncture in one’s life and a time for contemplating what the rest of it will look like. It may be a time of reflection on time well spent or sheer regret for not having done enough of what you really love to do.

Indeed, midlife may be time of crisis—the proverbial fork in the road for many of us. While the emotional and spiritual grappling that comes with it may reveal a bigger purpose and a path forward, it often overlooks the vehicle to get you there—your body and brain.

In all likelihood, your health may be in its own midlife crisis and that may be part of your challenge—acknowledged or not.

Perhaps prescriptions and over the counter pain relief meds are already a staple of your daily ritual to dos or your physician is encouraging more drug therapy for elevated cholesterol or high blood sugar.

Plus, the belly fat is a nagging reminder that you are not taking your diet and exercise as seriously as you should.

For women, the menopausal transition brings its own set of unique challenges. Declining estrogen levels at menopause bings into question how that can that affect your long-term health. Low estrogen in the menopausal transition is linked to a greater risk for Alzheimer’s in mid-to-late life.(1)

For both men and women, hormones are likely depleted or out of balance, and stress has taken its toll as well. It is not easy to muster a boundless enthusiasm for the next big chapter in your life when you feel depleted and out of sorts.

What to do? Well, do nothing and it is likely to get worse.

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Alzheimer’s Prevention Trials—The Future Looks Promising

Alzheimer’s Prevention Trials—The Future Looks Promising

Current prevalence estimates for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease LOAD in the United States (U.S.) is approximately 5.1 million.(1) By 2050 the projected prevalence of LOAD is expected to escalate to 13.8 million and a staggering 106.8 million worldwide.(2,3) Pharmacological treatments for LOAD such as cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA receptor antagonists may slow its progression or attenuate specific molecular pathomechanisms associated with the disease process, but are not long term solutions or curative. While there is active research for more effective disease-modifying drugs* the lack of any significant breakthroughs in the treatment of the disease has propelled a paradigm shift away from focusing solely on a pharmaceutical solution to an inclusive prevention model that emphasizes risk reduction and ultimately the portentous global burden incurred by the disease.
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