ANCHOR LEAD: CAN A PROGRAM ADDRESSING ALL ASPECTS OF SOMEONE’S HEALTH PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Can a program called CFIT, for cognitive fitness and innovative therapies, help you avoid developing Alzheimer’s disease? That’s the hope of a group at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who developed the weekly program for folks in their fifties using Wii, diet, cognitive challenges and other strategies to stave off dementia. Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.
LYKETSOS: The bottom line is this: use it or lose it is a very reasonable hypothesis. It’s well established that most any organ or tissue that if you don’t use it much you lose it’s functionality and this may well work for the brain. So it makes sense to think that an intervention that improves physical activity, mental activity and social engagement might prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is the people that can actually that can actually participate in that might be the people at lowest risk. :28
The program costs $4000 per year and it’s benefits have yet to be proven. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.