Alzheimer's Aging Population Analysis

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Introduction According to Statistics Canada, the proportion of seniors in the total population will grow rapidly over the next several years (Statistics Canada, 2014). It is estimated that by the year 2030, one in four individuals in Canada will be over the age of 65 due to the baby-boom generation (Statistics Canada, 2014). Consequently, Canadians will face increasing health concerns as many older adults are living with at least two chronic diseases or conditions simultaneously (National Institute on Aging, 2016). As learned in previous aging courses, Alzheimer’s is becoming increasingly more prevalent, and is one of the leading causes of death among the aging population. Although currently, only about half a million Canadians are living …show more content…
Exercise helps to increase activity of an enzyme called neprilysin, which helps to reduce plaques within the brain. Additionally, physical activity has been found to increase the size of the hippocampus and heighten the production of chemicals needed to form nerve cells and connections within the brain (DeWeerdt, 2011). Within one particular study, they found the hippocampus decreased in size by 1-2% per year with little physical activity, and increased by 2% with regular exercise (DeWeerdt, 2011). Based on this result, these researchers indicated that regular physical activity essentially allows the brain to age at a much slower rate. Moreover, another report found that it was beneficial for the aging population, particularly those with Alzheimer’s, to participate in activities that challenge the brain in order to sustain mental skills (DeWeerdt, 2011). After a six-week brain training intervention, elders were more likely to succeed in memory, reasoning and processing tests than their initial baseline scores (DeWeerdt, 2011). Although these tests do not generally make individuals smarter or prevent Alzheimer’s all together, they assist the brain in prolonging cognitive function (DeWeerdt, …show more content…
Two out of three individuals with Alzheimer’s are women, which was originally believed to be a result of survivor effect due to a longer life expectancy (Alzheimer’s Association, 2017). However, genetic studies are now starting to attribute the discrepancy to the differences in male and female brains and how they interact with hormones (Vina & Lloret, 2010). Researchers found that women who carry a gene called apolipoprotein E-4 (ApoE-4) were twice as likely to develop this disease as a women who did not, where as men were only slightly more at risk when they had the ApoE-4 gene (Vina & Loret, 2010). Although more research is still needed on this topic, it is hypothesized that how estrogen and ApoE-4 interact can explain a higher prevalence of Alzheimer’s in females (Vina & Loret, 2010). Additionally, it is important to note that females typically have higher rates of diabetes and obesity, which ultimately compromise their cardiovascular health and increase the risk this disease (Vina & Loret,

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