- Statins like simvastatin, commonly given to those at risk of heart attack, may also help prevent dementia.
- Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) like Diovan, which I take to lower my blood pressure, may delay onset of Alzheimer's.
- Excercise, the third leg in my own heart care triad, may also curb the progress of the disease.
Lisa Ravdin, director of Neuropsychology at New York-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan, was clear about this in an interview with Bloomberg last week.
"We are finding that many of the modifiable health behaviors, like exercise, diet and smoking, that have been historically associated with heart disease are now associated with the development of dementia."
But wait, there's more:
- Pre-Alzheimer's conditions are rising, especially in men, just as average weights and waistlines are growing.
- Children with a genetic risk factor for the disease have neurological changes years before symptoms appear, just as those with a genetic predisposition to heart trouble may.
So can Alzheimer's be prevented with a heart-healthy regimen, as most heart attacks can? To a degree, yes. But to a degree, no.
The best thing we can do is treat one another like adults. These are the risk factors, this is what you can do, but there are no guarantees.