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Can Fam Physician. 2006 Feb;52:200-7.

Prevention of Alzheimer disease. Encouraging evidence.

Author information

  • 1Whitby Mental Health Centre, Department of Psychiatry, Ontario. scalcom@wmhc.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the evidence regarding prevention of Alzheimer disease (AD) in order to highlight the role of family medicine.

QUALITY OF EVIDENCE:

Most of the evidence relating to prevention of AD is derived from observational (cross-sectional, case-control, or longitudinal) studies. Evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is available only for blood pressure control and for hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women.

MAIN MESSAGE:

Many preventive approaches to AD have been identified, but no RCTs support their efficacy. Evidence from RCTs supports the effectiveness of blood pressure control in reducing incidence of AD, but demonstrates that postmenopausal women's use of estrogen is ineffective in reducing it. Observational studies suggest that some preventive approaches, such as healthy lifestyle, ongoing education, regular physical activity, and cholesterol control, play a role in prevention of AD. These approaches can and should be used for every patient because they carry no significant risk. Currently, no effective pharmacologic interventions have been researched enough to support their use in prevention of AD.

CONCLUSION:

Health professionals should educate patients, especially patients at higher risk of AD, about preventive strategies and potentially modifiable risk factors.

PMID:
16529393
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1479722
Free PMC Article
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