Joseph Jebelli, a neuroscientist and an author, offers an optimistic stance on the prevention of Alzheimer’s in his new book, In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer’s.
When Jebelli was 12, his perfectly healthy grandfather began exuding signs of Alzheimer’s. Fueled by his sadness and confusion, Jebelli began actively pursuing potential causes of the disease. His initial findings concluded that while his grandfather upheld a healthy lifestyle, the Alzheimer’s was too advanced, which caused the brain cells to start “withering away.”
In an attempt to diminish the fatal risks associated with Alzheimer’s, Jebelli proposed the use of biomarkers, which he predicts will “prevent the disease within the next 10 to 20 years.” Biomarkers are tools designed to assist researchers in identifying what causes certain infectious diseases. Jebelli hypothesizes that these biomarkers will “push the disease back,” in turn allowing Alzheimer victims to go years “before they start experiencing symptoms.”
Jebelli believes that early recognition of the disease will not only halt the onslaught of symptoms but will actually allow for those susceptible to Alzheimer’s to die “naturally.” If Jebelli’s predictions pan out, we could be looking at 9 million fewer Alzheimer victims by the year 2050. What’s more, health care providers could be saving upwards of $600 billion a year.
In the meantime, Jebelli suggests that we all adopt a social lifestyle to enhance mental stimulation. The Alzheimer’s Association revealed findings in which mental stimulation was linked to lower risk of cognitive decline, suggesting that remaining social “strengthens connections between nerve cells in the brain.” In addition, they recommend physical exercise as it “increases blood and oxygen flow in the brain.” When your brain remains alert, so do you.
Alzheimer’s reared its ugly head back in 1906 when it took the life of Alos Alzheimer, for whom the disease was named. Jebelli and the scientists devoting their research to finding a cure could make huge strides in the medical industry within the foreseeable future if they keep their efforts up.
Follow along in Jebelli’s book, coming out October 31, as he admirably fights for an Alzheimer’s cure in what he has dubbed “the beginning of the end.”
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