A new study has revealed that reducing activity in certain parts of the brain while activating others can help decrease the size and number of amyloid plaques that can otherwise form Alzheimer's disease. The findings indicate that there may be some areas that are more vulnerable than others.
"Engaging the brain in tasks like reading, socializing or studying may be helpful because they reduce activity in susceptible regions and increase activity in regions that seem to be less vulnerable to Alzheimer's plaque deposition," said David M. Holtzman, MD. "I suspect that sleep deprivation and increased stress, which may affect Alzheimer's risk, may also increase activity levels in these vulnerable regions."
The team discovered these effects by analyzing groups of mice, and speculated that the parts of the brain that first begin to develop the plaques may be the ones that "communicate" the most.
Those who are worried about the health of a loved one with Alzheimer's disease may want to consider installing a senior alert system. This device enables users to instantly send a personal emergency response message if they require assistance.
The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 5.4 million Americans currently suffer from the disease.