Alzheimer's disease represents a significant challenge to the aging population. Since most estimates suggest that AD has a multifactorial etiology, the challenge to find preventative approaches is particularly great. With the aging of the population and the very high incidence from the eighth decade on, the challenge is further enhanced by the need to think of relatively safe interventions given the relative frailty of this elderly population. The need to find safe treatments, or ones with well-understood safety profiles, has led to the examination of known agents for potential dementia-preventing properties. Data supporting these interventions comes from observational studies, laboratory analyses, and clinical trials. Potential mechanisms for prevention of AD include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant approaches. Modulation of risk factors associated with cardiac disease may also reduce the risk of AD. Known agents have been examined for their potential to modify amyloid pathology. Trial designs to address prevention of AD include both primary and secondary prevention studies as well designs to assess slowing disease progression. Information can also be gathered when dementia evaluation is added to ongoing studies. As results from these studies becoming available, we will be able to refine our approach to managing this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-853
Number of pages8
JournalCNS Spectrums
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


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