Research into Alzheimer's disease has found a change in a memory making region of the brain years ahead of symptoms and are searching for therapies to delay the onset of this degenerative brain disease. There are many questions about how soon people should know whether Alzheimer's is approaching when nothing yet can be done to forestall the disease.
Alzheimer's affects 4.5 million people in the United States and is predicted to strike 14 million by 2050 as the population ages. Some changes in lifestyle choices may delay the onset of Alzheimer's. Drinking juices can be brain protective, and social activity in old age can delay dementia or Alzheimer's. Less education, gum disease or a stroke are risk factors for development of Alzheimer's or dememtia and are more important than genes.
The National Institute on Aging is beginning a $60 million study to scan the brains of 800 older Americans to try to pin down Alzheimer's earliest biological changes.