African-Americans at an increased Alzheimer's risk

Alzheimer's disease often strikes those old in age and leaves them unable to perform the most basic of human functions. There are many factors that can contribute to Alzheimer's disease, and some groups are more at risk for developing the disease then others. African Americans in particular represent one group that has a definite increased risk of contracting the disease. In this article, we'll explain the connection more thoroughly and let you know what you can do to avoid getting the disease.

While we are still much in the dark when it comes to how and why Alzheimer's strikes, we do know that African Americans are especially at risk. How much more at risk are they than Caucasians is contested, but studies have placed the increase in risk for African Americans as opposed to Caucasians at between fourteen and a hundred percent. Also, studies have shown that Alzheimer's disease may be passed on through heredity in African Americans easier than it is passed on in Caucasians. The risk of an African American contracting Alzheimer's if a brother, sister, or parent has the disease rests at a very high 43.7 percent. The reasons for these correlations are unsure, but it is widely believed that it is a combination of both genetics and the environment that explain the risk.

Although the field of medicine is doing its best to find cures and preventative treatments for Alzheimer's disease, if a breakthrough is not made, the rate of Alzheimer's in African Americans will increase to epidemic proportions. The disease commonly strikes those old in age, with roughly ten percent of all people over age sixty five having Alzheimer's. One of the reasons that may help to explain the increased risk of developing Alzheimer's in African Americans relates to cardio-vascular health. African Americans face a higher chance of developing high blood pressure, which is one of the risk factors for developing Alzheimer's. Those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels appear to be especially at risk for the disease, and the difference in our genetics may be responsible for the problem. Also, African Americans face higher risks of diabetes and vascular dementia, with both being precursors to a possible Alzheimer's condition. Since the number of African Americans that are over age 65 is expected to double by the year 2030, the problem will likely increase to a high degree.

If you are an African American looking to decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer's, your best plan of action is to look after your cardiovascular health. What you do for your heart is responsible for what happens to your brain, as the heart supplies the brain with oxygenated blood. To that end, you should maintain a healthy diet and a high level of exercise in order to ensure that you are doing all that you can to prevent the condition. Some contend that participating in trying mental exercises as you age can be responsible for fending off the disease at well. Learn all that you can about the disease so that you can understand exactly what to do in order to keep yourself at a low risk.

Alzheimer's Disease on the Web

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Before Joe Girardi rose from a high school prospect to big-league catcher to Yankees manager, he was a boy in Peoria, Ill., who wrote a third-grade essay about wanting to be a big-league ballplayer someday, and he was thrilled to call himself Jerry Girardi's son. The two of them not only played backyard games of catch or caught five or six Cubs games a year at Wrigley Field. They went everywhere ...

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Spiritual Renewal A Spiritual Renewal opportunity for friends and family of the Hempstead community and surrounding areas will be held at Bethlehem United Methodist Church starting on Sunday, November 16 at 3 p.m. Guest speaker will be Rev. Fred Thomas III. On Monday, November 17 through Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 7 p.m. Guest speakers on Monday will be Rev. Michael Wolf; Tuesday, Nov. 18 ...

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TorreyPines Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, has agreed to sell its Alzheimers disease genetics research program to Eisai for an upfront cash payment.

Saint Louis University researchers have identified a novel way of getting a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease and stroke into the brain where it can do its work. "We found a unique approach for delivering drugs to the brain," says William A. Banks, M.D., professor of geriatrics and pharmacological and physiological science at Saint Louis University.

Intellect Neurosciences, a biopharmaceutical company, has completed validation of its European patent related to antibodies and methods of treatment for Alzheimers disease in Germany, France, UK and the Netherlands.