Alzheimer’s linked to rural living
By Liz Lockhart
Alzheimer’s disease is currently a much discussed and considered condition. Around 820,000 people live with this disorder in Britain. With our population having longer life-expectancy many experts predict that this figure could double over the next forty years, making research and knowledge about this disorder essential.
Recent scientific study carried out at Edinburgh University suggests that people born and raised in rural areas have a considerably higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This may be surprising as the countryside offers so much in the form of healthy living, fresh air and peace compared to city life.
The researchers examined data collected from 51 previous Alzheimer’s studies which cited the medical records of 12,580 people from all over the world. They found that there was a considerably higher number of Alzheimer’s cases in rural areas rather than in cities. This did not apply to dementia as a whole.
The researchers can offer no explanation why this should be but Dr Tom Russ, the lead author of the study said ‘We don’t really know the mechanism. It could be to do with access to health care, exposure to some unknown substance, socioeconomic factors, or a number of other factors. We’re currently looking into this question in more detail.’
Dr Russ emphasised that it may not necessarily be the countryside that is causing the higher numbers of Alzheimer’s patients but that there may be a lower risk associated with living in a city.
With the predicted rise in the number of people who suffer with Alzheimer’s disease, it is essential that all information and facts are considered fully and further researched.