Garden of Palms

New Hope for Alzheimer’s

by Abigail Lewis

New genes pinpointed in Alzheimer’s disease

For many of us, Alzheimer’s tops the list of “diseases we don’t want.” That’s partly because no pharmaceutical, health food, exercise program or other preventive measure has been proven effective over the long term, but all that may be about to change.

In October of this year, new research pinpointed 11 new genes associated with the disease. This greatly expands our understanding of Alzheimer’s, opening up the possibility of therapeutic interventions for this type of cognitive impairment.

Even better news, you don’t have to wait for a pharmaceutical company to devise a new drug, because one of the newly identified genes plays a part in the immune system’s inflammatory response. Health proponents have long suspected inflammation as a culprit in everything from yeast infections and common colds to more serious illnesses, though there’s no real test to confirm you have the condition.

However, the typical American diet, combined with lack of exercise and pollution, is known to cause inflammation, and it’s aggravated by smoking, gum disease, and even obesity, causing our bodies to release a constant barrage of immune cells that can trigger bigger problems.

The antidote? No surprises here: moderate exercise, reduced stress, adequate sleep, good dental care and a Mediterranean-style diet.