Alzheimer’s, true from false

” VSit will eventually happen to all of us ” ; “It’s the evil of the century, there is nothing to do”… When we talk about Alzheimer’s, the tone is often resigned. On this pathology which concerns 1.2 million people in France and affects 225,000 people every year, we sometimes think we know everything, and especially that it is inevitable. Wrongly, according to France Alzheimer, for whom this fatalism stems first of all from a lack of knowledge. This is illustrated by a study carried out by the association with Professor Bertrand Fougère, geriatrician at the University Hospital of Tours, and the Federation of memory centers. While eight in ten respondents felt they had a solid knowledge of the subject before participating in the survey – and for good reason, one in two said they had a loved one affected by Alzheimer’s – only four of them felt well informed. at the end of the questionnaire.

Noise, hypertension, diabetes …

Take the test, to see. True or false ? A person whose parents suffer from dementia is more likely to develop it in turn. We would tend to believe it, yet it is wrong. Only 1 to 2% of Alzheimer’s cases are hereditary according to Inserm. True or false ? Working in a noisy environment increases the risk of cognitive impairment. A priori, we do not see the connection, but it is quite true, many studies having established a link between hearing impairment and cognitive disorders. One final claim for the road: Diabetes increases the risk of cognitive impairment. Again, this is fair. And this also applies to arterial hypertension, cholesterol or even smoking …

This ignorance is not without consequences. To think that cognitive disorders are inevitable is to give up any attempt to guard against it. However, four out of ten cases of Alzheimer’s could be preventable, a study published in July 2020 in The Lancet. “In the same way that the systematic screening of certain cancers is encouraged by the public authorities, a campaign on the first warning signs which should lead to a cognitive evaluation must be proposed”, pleads France Alzheimer.

Maintain your brain health

Be careful, this is not to be alarmed at the slightest memory gap. Losing your keys or searching for a long time for your glasses while they are on your nose: this is what happens to all of us. But like the body, the brain needs sport. If age remains the main risk factor – the disease is more common after 65 years and even more from 80 years old – reading, running, eating healthy, seeing friends, going to the movies, are all ways of maintain brain health.

Easy ! Yes, as long as you have access to all these privileges. And more generally to be familiar with public health messages. Take the example of cigarettes. For the first time in four years, the number of smokers has not decreased in 2020. Worse, daily smoking has increased among the poorest populations, according to Public Health France. “Social inequalities thus remain very marked”, observes only the health agency. True or false ? Today in France, a poor person is more likely to be a smoker and therefore, in the long term, to develop cognitive disorders …


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