It has been over two weeks since the last announcement of a major fail for an Alzheimer’s drug. Merck has abandoned development of verubecestat:   http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/15/health/merck-alzheimers-drug-trial-fails/index.html 

Somehow a once promising drug now has no chance of working? It seems to be the same pattern, the rosy prediction then the  harsh truth.   I guess the good news  hidden in that article is that adu, our leading brain genie contender, is still hanging in there. Looking back, this is where adu was a few months ago: http://waystostay.org/?s=brain+genie

We have to wait at least another three years for the next announcement on adu’s progress, in the meantime  some eloquently simple good news/advice again from the Health section of the  NYT.  The practice of walking briskly has been shown to have good results in early Alzheimer’s patients.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/well/move/frequent-brisk-walks-may-aid-those-with-early-alzheimers.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&action=click&contentCollection=health&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

It was an interesting study that had a control group of people who stretched and did other exercises,  but did not walk.  The walkers definitively got the more positive measurable results.  Not everyone can continue to walk at a brisk pace as they age and have to endure orthopedic problems.  Besides walking in our neighborhood, I use the treadmill at my $10 a month gym.  I look over at the row of recumbent bikes as something that I could transition to if I can not handle walking upright.

Maybe the whole key to putting off dementia is just blood flow through the brain. Those knots of plague that destroy so much are unable to get a hold.  I am taking a trip down my own memory lane  category of blogs on the subject but the 2% solution also is very real here: http://waystostay.org/?s=the+two+percent+solution  The hippocampus you save can be your own, no pharmaceutical interventions needed.

Besides being active mentally challenging your self ( just started a Great Course…) and staying social ( there is always another Meetup) walking is the best prescription. No one can guarantee that a discipline of regular brisk walking is a 100% proof antidote to dementia.  It certainly seems a potential competitor to the drug creation market. 

At this point I am at risk of being accused of repeating myself about getting out there and owning the sidewalk if not the roads.  This is a topic that is central to aging in place. Independence to stay in your own home will come at a cost in many different ways but having the mental capacity to guide your own way is critical.  Think of regular exercise as an important down payment.