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Younger Elderly are More at Risk of Being Felled by Alzheimer's

Update Date: Aug 04, 2012 12:40 PM EDT

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia that affects millions each year and there have been scores of researches to understand the nature of the disease better and to find a cure or root cause of it. 

According to a new research at the University of California, San Diego, Alzheimer's disease hits the 'younger elderly' harder than it hits the older people. The study notes that people in their 60s and 70s are affected much faster than those who show symptoms only by the age of 80 or 90. 

The research, conducted on 723 older people, claims that younger elderly (those in their 60s and 70s) who are affected with Alzheimer's, lose their mental sharpness and brain mass much faster than those in their 80s and 90s.

According to Linda EcEvoy, co-author of the study, the reason perhaps could be that older people diagnosed with Alzheimer's may have brains with a higher degree of "cognitive reserve". Which means, the brains of the older people are perhaps fitter than those of younger ones due to resilience that has come from exercising more during their lives.

Another theory could be that older patients could be suffering from Alzheimer's for years together and the symptoms are displayed only when they are struck with another form of dementia, reported the Telegraph.

"These findings challenge the misconception that Alzheimer's and dementia is only a problem for much older people, suggesting it may be more aggressive in people in their 60s and 70s," Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK said according to the report.  

"The results highlight the importance of helping younger people with Alzheimer's to access clinical trials, as new drugs could have a big impact on their lives," Ridley added.

The study was published in the journal PLoS One.

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