According to specialists in geriatrics, cognitive decline is more related to people's overall health status. Diseases, potentially age-related, increase the risk of cognitive decline more than age itself.
"We have been taught for a long time that cognitive disorders are part of aging," says Christopher R. Carpenter, an emergency physician specializing in geriatrics. At a conference organized by The American Geriatrics Society, the professor and his colleagues questioned this postulate. According to their findings, cognitive decline is more related to overall health status, not just age.
Symptoms that appear very early
Various experts gathered at this conference, which took place between March 26 and 27 in the United States. According to them, age remains a major risk factor for cognitive decline, but other factors may explain it. "Contemporary medical research shows that the bodily changes that lead to dementia occur long before the symptoms, which are often associated with old age," says Christopher R. Carpenter, "that raises a question: is it really the age that causes cognitive decline or is it rather diseases that we associate with age now because we live longer? " The various sessions organized at the conference prove that cognitive decline is not a systematic characteristic of aging. Researchers have also investigated the relationship between cognitive decline and the health of different organs. For example, cognition problems are an important indicator of the risk of death or hospital admission in people with heart failure.
Anticipate the arrival of the disease
Part of the scientific research is now concerned with the early signs of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's. A recent study shows that napping regularly can be an early symptom because the disease affects areas of the brain dedicated to daytime awakening. Other researchers have shown that the presence of memory disorders in young people with a family history of Alzheimer's indicates a high risk of developing the disease later. According to France Alzheimer, more than 35 million people would be affected worldwide.