- The most common Alzheimer’s pathology was vascular disease (which is preventable).
- Just 10-30% of clinical Alzheimer’s cases have pure Alzheimer’s-like pathology
“For a long time, researchers only focused on identifying abnormal protein deposition in the brain resulting in Alzheimer’s disease, but with advances in tools and our understanding, we now know that there is a HUGE overlap between vascular (blood vessel) disease in the brain and clinical Alzheimer’s disease. And this study helped us understand it better.
1,161 people donated their brains to be studied after their death. Only 10-30% of the cases were pure Alzheimer’s-like pathologies, and a larger percentage of the pathologies were attributable to stroke, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (abnormal protein deposition in blood vessels), atherosclerosis, and arteriolosclerosis – all vascular diseases that are profoundly influenced by factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose metabolism – which in turn are influenced by lifestyle – what you eat, how much you move, your sleep patterns, etc.”
I have taken care of countless patients and some family members with Alzheimer’s disease. It is a nightmare for the patient and their caregivers. I want to do everything I possibly can to avoid passing this burden on to my children, and this is great news – by managing the lifestyle factors that I can control, I am significantly reducing my risk of living this nightmare myself.