Friday, May 20

Prevent Alzheimer's - Start Young


Doctors say "prevention" is the new Alzheimer's frontier - and it does reduce the risk. See how.


Cases of Alzheimer's continue to grow in this country. More than five million Americans are living with it and we're told that number is expected to triple by 2050. With no effective treatment yet, prevention is the new frontier and the key to it may come much earlier in life than previously thought. Our report tonight from our Chief Medical Editor Doctor Nancy Snyderman.

Thirty-two-year-old musician and filmmaker Max Lugavere does not look like someone worried about Alzheimer's, but he is. What did you see in your mom that concerned you?
MAX LUGAVERE: My mother who is 62, three years ago started having symptoms of-- of memory loss and cognitive difficulty. So I became obsessed with this idea of taking steps in my own life that could potentially ensure that I'll never have anything like dementia.
DOCTOR RICHARD ISAACSON: I mean the results were fascinating.
DR. SNYDERMAN: In hopes of warding off the disease by intervening at a young age--
LUGAVERE: And what kind of memories is this testing for?
DR. SNYDERMAN: --he's participating in a unique Alzheimer's prevention clinic at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.
DR. ISAACSON: What brings us home for me is my Uncle Bob.
DR. SNYDERMAN: Clinic director Doctor Richard Isaacson who has Alzheimer's in his own family--
DR. ISAACSON: That's my Uncle Bob.
DR. SNYDERMAN: --designs personalized programs for younger people like Max who may be at high risk.
DR. ISAACSON: Your brain is processing really well. I try to use a person's genetic background to help me refine or fine tune the suggestions I make to patients.
DR. SNYDERMAN: While a young and seemingly healthy, Max's blood tells another story. He has a genetic variation and high levels of an amino acid associated with an increased risk for dementia.
LUGAVERE: I’m definitely a big fan of blueberries.
DR. SNYDERMAN: To reduce those levels, he's changing his diet and lifestyle. Playing music may also reduce the risk of dementia.
DR. ISAACSON: Lifetime musical experience as well as midlife onward musical experience can absolutely-- it's been proven to delay cognitive decline.
DR. SNYDERMAN: Doctor Isaacson believes delaying cognitive decline could be the first step in warding off Alzheimer's disease.
DR. ISAACSON: We have to empower young people and people of all ages to make brain-healthier choices.
DR. SNYDERMAN: This is so important because the brain changes leading to Alzheimer's can start as early as 20 years before symptoms show up. This is the new frontier, Brian.
WILLIAMS: Thinking about that guitar I have in the corner of the den. Nancy Snyderman, we'll take the good news. Thank you very much.
DR. SNYDERMAN: It is good news.


Comment or Share:

  1. Too bad the video didn't load. I have the gene for alzheimer's and am in a Biogen study for short term memory.

    1. With NBC videos, sometimes you have to refresh the page and try a second time to load the video. But I just tried it and it does load.


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