The projected sharp rise in the prevalence of dementia has become one of the most significant public health issues around the world, and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Recent research suggests that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are preceded by pathological changes in the brain for as long as two decades. This period of symptom-free pathological changes has opened up a window of early diagnosis and treatment. Nevertheless, current research suggests that the greatest promise lies in lifestyle changes to tackle cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors and to promote cognitive reserve. Apart from finding cures, a more realistic goal is to compress morbidity through consistent application of healthy lifestyles. This lecture will highlight these issues and discuss relevant findings. Because Alzheimer’s disease will unlikely be cured in the foreseeable future, our society cannot continue to ignore the needs of families and caregivers as we have done before. This lecture will also highlight the challenges for caregivers and families, and will describe an innovative intervention to promote positive mindset in family caregivers in Hong Kong. Prior knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease is not required for this lecture. Copyright © 2014 The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
|Published - May 2013