Since Alzheimer's disease (AD) was discovered in 1907 by Alois Alzheimer, researchers have made strides in understanding the impact of Alzheimer's on the human brain and the genetic component of the disease. During the past century, extensive research has resulted in numerous treatment insights and quality of life information for patients, families, and caregivers.
New Harvard Alzheimer's Research Offers Hope
The 2013 February issue of Harvard Woman's Health Watch covers Alzheimer's research and prevention that include early intervention before the disease begins to affect thinking,
To date, there's no definitive Alzheimer's treatment to stop the devastation that causes the theft of a patient's personality and memory. But the recent Harvard research study highlights programs to help people maintain control of their cognitive functions and memory by staying physically and mentally active.
Alzheimer's Behavioral Therapy
As people age, social activity and staying engaged in activities with friends, family and groups can be more of a challenge. There's a tendency for retired people to become more withdrawn, less involved in their favorite activities or sports, and less active even with family members.
According to Dr. Sperling, withdrawal is counterproductive. Family members and caretakers should be aware of the problem and encourage loved ones to get out for a brisk walk instead of watching TV for hours on end. Why not invite friends over for a card game and healthy snacks.
Other recommendations include a trip to the park, or a visit to a museum followed by dinner with friends, Social interaction and exercise are highly recommended because these activities not only work wonders on mental alertness, they also contribute to positive moods, judgment, memory, and behavior.
The hope is that this approach may change patient treatment and help to prevent the development of Alzheimer's. According to Harvard's Research Director, Dr. Reisa Sperling, this new approach concentrates on prevention rather than end stage Alzheimer treatment.