New Frontiers in the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

Author: Leonardo Guzman-Martinez1, Camila Calfío1, Gonzalo A Farias2, Cristian Vilches3, Raul Prieto4, Ricardo B Maccioni1,5
1 Laboratory of Neuroscience and Functional Medicine, International Center for Biomedicine and Faculty of Sciences, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
2 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine North, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
3 Center of Chinese Medicine, Santiago, Chile.
4 Traumatological Institute of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
5 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine East, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.
Conference/Journal: J Alzheimers Dis
Date published: 2021 Jan 23
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.3233/JAD-201059. , Word Count: 275

One of the major puzzles in medical research and public health systems worldwide is Alzheimer's disease (AD), reaching nowadays a prevalence near 50 million people. This is a multifactorial brain disorder characterized by progressive cognitive impairment, apathy, and mood and neuropsychiatric disorders. The main risk of AD is aging; a normal biological process associated with a continuum dynamic involving a gradual loss of people's physical capacities, but with a sound experienced view of life. Studies suggest that AD is a break from normal aging with changes in the powerful functional capacities of neurons as well as in the mechanisms of neuronal protection. In this context, an important path has been opened toward AD prevention considering that there are elements of nutrition, daily exercise, avoidance of toxic substances and drugs, an active social life, meditation, and control of stress, to achieve healthy aging. Here, we analyze the involvement of such factors and how to control environmental risk factors for a better quality of life. Prevention as well as innovative screening programs for early detection of the disease using reliable biomarkers are becoming critical to control the disease. In addition, the failure of traditional pharmacological treatments and search for new drugs has stimulated the emergence of nutraceutical compounds in the context of a "multitarget" therapy, as well as mindfulness approaches shown to be effective in the aging, and applied to the control of AD. An integrated approach involving all these preventive factors combined with novel pharmacological approaches should pave the way for the future control of the disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Qigong and Chinese
medicine; biomarkers; early detection; meditation; non-pharmacological treatment; nutraceutical compounds; prevention.

PMID: 33523002 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-201059