Alzheimer’s Disease Can Be Detected Early On

August 15, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. spot / spɒt / (v.) – to detect or to notice
Example: Through an x-ray, the doctor was able to spot the fracture in the patient’s bone.

2. decline / dɪˈklaɪn / (v.) – to decrease or to become worse
Example: His eyesight declined as he got older.

3. assessment / əˈsɛs mənt / (n.) – an evaluation of something
Example: I’m still waiting for the doctor’s assessment.

4. delay / dɪˈleɪ / (v.) – to make something occur at a later time
Example: Proper nutrition and good exercise delay the effects of aging.

5. stimulating / ˈstɪm yəˌleɪt ɪŋ / (adj.) – causing excitement
Example The hospital offers a stimulating environment for the elderly.


Read the text below.
A recent study reveals that the signs of Alzheimer’s disease can be spotted as early as 18 years before its symptoms appear.

Kumar Rajan [RUH-jan] and his colleagues at the Rush University Medical Center conducted the said study. It involved 2,125 participants who had no dementia and were 73 years old on average. The researchers followed the participants for 18 years and tested their mental skills every three years. Researchers then compared the results of all tests.

Results revealed that in the span of 18 years, 442 of the participants developed Alzheimer’s. Rajan and his colleagues found that the mental test scores of those participants consistently declined as they took the test over time. The researchers also discovered that for each drop in the participants’ scores, their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increased by 85%.

Despite these findings, Rajan clarifies that the study is applicable only for predicting the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in a group and not of an individual. Nonetheless, the researchers suggest that the study’s cognitive test can be used as part of a regular assessment to detect the disease at an early age. Rajan added that with this method, people will have a longer and earlier time to prevent or delay the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Previous studies have shown that brain-stimulating activities can help prevent Alzheimer’s. However, a study from the University of California showed that having enough regular sleep can also prevent the disease. Researchers explain that sleeping regularly refreshes the brain, thus reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think researchers should conduct more studies related to Alzheimer’s disease? Why?
·         How else can Alzheimer’s disease be prevented?

Discussion B

·         What aid can we provide for the elderly?
·         How can we help people with incurable, terminal diseases?

August 15, 2015