ANCHOR LEAD: CAN ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE BE PREVENTED WITH A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM STARTED EARLY? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A program called CFIT from the University of California at Santa Barbara is taking aim at Alzheimer’s disease with a global approach, pulling out all the stops with physical and mental challenges, diet, and early intervention. People who join begin in their fifties, an approach that makes some sense, says Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s expert at Johns Hopkins.
LYKETSOS: There’s a case to be made that these brain changes that are starting potentially in people’s fifties and sixties are really not going to be effected once they’ve started so that even targeting sixty year olds might not work. We might need to be targeting forty year olds and maintaining a high level of activity. We just don’t know. Right now people at highest risk I tell them do everything you can to increase your social, mental and physical activities through late life. Don’t retire if you can avoid retiring, or if you retire be very active in all three of these areas. :32
An NIH panel did conclude this week, however, that nothing has yet been shown to prevent cognitive decline. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.