This week we’re highlighting some stories related to Alzheimer’s Disease. Together they encourage us to take our parents advice to brush our teeth as seriously as we took their advice not to smoke, and to remember that real progress in the fight against this tragic disease happens every day.
Recent research suggests that the bacteria responsible for gum disease may be the cause of Alzheimer’s Disease. Thus good oral health may not only lower our risk for heart disease, but may also reduce our chances of developing dementia. More significantly, the cause of Alzheimer’s has been a mystery for decades; if scientists really do now know what causes it, there’s a good chance they can begin developing drugs to prevent it. As the kids say, “big, if true.”
Some other scientists recently took over 2100 PET scans and trained a computer to determine whether the images predicted that the patient would develop Alzheimer’s. After some tweaking, the computer was able to successfully identify the patients who would develop Alzheimer’s within six years with 100% accuracy. Someone should introduce these two groups of scientists to each other.
As elder law attorneys, we are always happy to help you or your family manage the legal issues related to dementia and incapacity, but we’d much prefer if you never needed us to. We hope that news like this is one small step towards that end.