An independent panel of medical experts has determined that there is no strong scientific evidence to support several measures for the prevention of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
The panel said Wednesday that there is “currently no evidence of even moderate scientific quality” to support the notion that certain factors such as education, exercise or diet are effective at preventing cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s. At best, these preventive measures are loosely associated with positive outcomes, the panel asserted.
“These associations are examples of the classic chicken or the egg quandary,” said Dr. Martha L. Daviglus, conference panel chair. “Are people able to stay mentally sharp over time because they are physically active and socially engaged or are they simply more likely to stay physically active and socially engaged because they are mentally sharp? An association only tells us that these things are related, not that one causes the other.”
Convened this week by the National Institutes of Health, the panel included experts in the fields of preventive medicine, geriatrics and nursing, among others. For more information about the panelists and their findings and conclusions, visit http://consensus.nih.gov/2010/alzmedia.htm.