Posted on 24/09/2012

New Alzheimer’s Research – Country Dwellers at Higher Risk

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New Alzheimer’s Research – Country Dwellers at Higher Risk

New Research Highlights Alzheimer’s Risk is Higher in the Countryside

People who grew up in the countryside may be more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in old age” The Daily Telegraph has reported. Although countryside living has often been linked to a healthier lifestyle, recent studies suggest that when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, this may not always be the case.

Researchers looked at 13 individual studies, examining the difference between the number of people with dementia in the country and those suffering from the disease in the city.

Although they found no real difference in the chance of developing dementia in general, significant differences were highlighted when analysing the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Those who grew up in the countryside and continued to live there faced the highest risk, more than twice as likely to develop the disease compared to those living in more urban areas.

Frustratingly though, the study seems to raise more questions than it answers and presents, in the words of the Daily Mail, ‘a mystery’ as to why those who grew up in the countryside would fall victim to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

Researchers hinted that the possibility of childhood exposure to environmental factors could be the reason, however readily admitted that it was purely speculative.

The study, which was carried out at the University of Edinburgh, University College London and other UK establishments was supported by the Medical Research Council, Alzheimer Scotland and various other organisations based in the UK.

Published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, further studies are expected and required to highlight the underlying cause of the findings. With the varying limitations of the study and with no hard evidence as of yet, the research probably isn’t reason enough to up sticks and move out of the countryside, however further developments will be met with great intrigue from those working within the medical community.

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