Study Finds Alzheimer’s May Develop Late For Children of Long-Lived Parents
Bloomfield Hills, MI (Law Firm Newswire) June 25, 2013 - A new study has found that children of long-lived adults show a marked delay when developing dementia or other types of cognitive decline.
The study examined the children of individuals with "exceptional longevity," people who lived 89 years or more. Researchers looked at data gathered from more than 1,850 volunteers located in Denmark, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania, as well as their spouses, siblings, siblings' spouses, adult children, and their children's' spouses.
The children of individuals who lived longer than 89 years were likely to not develop the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease until their 90s; they were approximately 40 percent less likely, in fact, to develop cognitive decline between 65 and 79 – the age their peers typically developed symptoms. By age 90, however, they had the same incidence of decline as their peers.
"While much more work still needs to be done, research like this, which may get us closer to understand how to avoid or delay Alzheimer's disease, is heartening," commented Michigan elder law attorney Christopher Berry.
Researchers tested the volunteers on a series of memory skills. They found that 6 percent of adult children of people with extreme longevity developed cognitive impairment between the ages of 65 and 79, while their spouses who were not the children of long-lived individuals had a cognitive impairment rate of 13 percent.
Researchers believe that both dementia and longevity have a strong genetic component. Longevity is defined as living beyond the average age of death for peers. Men in the U.S. who are currently 65 have an average lifespan of 83 years. Women in the U.S. who are currently 65 have an average lifespan expectancy of 85 years.
The study, researchers say, indicates that there may be ways to work with genetics to delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and other memory problems. While numerous studies worldwide are chasing how to reverse or prevent Alzheimer's disease from developing, this study is one of the first of its kind, examining why some people do not develop the disease in the first place, or are much less likely to develop it at all.
Individuals who have a family history of cognitive decline may wish to explore their estate planning and long-term care options prior to the potential onset of illness in order to ensure their care and security in their later years.
Learn more at http://www.michiganelderlawattorney.com/
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