Slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease; what works?

Ageing Res Rev. 2015 Sep;23(Pt B):193-209. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2015.07.002. Epub 2015 Jul 26.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related progressive dementia, which is increasing in prevalence world-wide. Typically affecting short-term memory at onset, this devastating illness advances to impair all aspects of cognition, as well as non-cognitive domains. Although much effort has been made in recent years to develop disease-modifying treatments, medications which provided promising results in pre-clinical research have so far faltered in human clinical trials. Attention has recently shifted into trying to identify preventative measures that may delay the onset of the illness. Preventative factors include physical activity, proper diet, cognitive stimulation and the management of conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. However, it remains imperative to identify approaches that may help patients already diagnosed with the illness. Alongside pharmacological research, much work has been done on uncovering strategies which may slow down the progression of AD. This review aims to summarize evidence supporting or refuting methods impacting on the progression of the disease. AD remains a chronic and serious condition, therefore any intervention delaying the onset of moderate/severe symptoms will have a significant impact on patients and their families.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Blood pressure; Cognition; Diet; Exercise.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Animals
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans