Alzheimer dementia (AD) is a complex, aging-associated disease whose effects on the brain (an organ made up by nonreplaceable cells) are devastating. Disease is not curable, but progress in pathobiology shows that intervention on aging can make primary prevention of AD feasible. According to the amyloid-cascade hypothesis, mechanisms of AD include: an age-related alteration of free radical metabolism in membranes, leading to a higher yield in the toxic Aβ1-42 peptide and an overwhelming impact on the weaker repair mechanisms of the aging cells. The proposed intervention on aging with anti-AD effects includes a daily assumption of antioxidants (red wine polyphenols enriched with resveratrol), a reinforcement of membrane antioxidant defenses by the assumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids at the first meal after fasting, and an enhancement of cell repair function (at the proteasome and autophagy level by an intermittent feeding regimen and physical exercise plus the assumption of antilipolytic agents during time of fasting). The beneficial effects of diet and physical activity on the endogenous production of protective nerve growth factors are magnified by an enriched environment. Treatment has already been started on healthy individuals at a higher risk of AD in the city of Volterra.
Part of the book: Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology