The primary end point in AHEAD was functional decline
during 2 years of follow-up.
The study conducted over 3,000 adults aged 70-79 showed that the apparent association between light-to-moderate alcohol consumption and reduced risk of functional decline
over time did not hold up after adjustments were made for characteristics related to lifestyle, in particular physical activity, body weight, education, and income.
Communication with the doctor and staff is very important to minimize functional decline
," says Dr.
CHICAGO -- A home-based exercise and education program that targeted underlying disabilities slowed functional decline
and decreased falls and nursing home admissions in a controlled study of 188 frail elderly participants.
Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a role in the pathogenesis of [Parkinson's disease] and that treatments targeted at mitochondria might ameliorate the functional decline
," the authors said.
Although the mechanism of the survival benefit is most likely multifactorial, one important finding was the sustained protective effect of physical activity against functional decline
," the authors wrote.
The drug may actually modify disease progression: In a long-term follow-up trial, patients who got rasagiline first experienced less functional decline
than patients who began getting it 6 months later, researchers said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.
Earlier studies showed coenzyme Q10-related reductions in elevated brain lactate in Huntington's disease, but in this study neither agent slowed functional decline
(Neurology 57:397-404, 2001).
The difference in cognitive and functional decline
over time between close and not-as-close pairs can mean the difference between staying at home or going to a nursing facility," Lyketsos added.
However, the study also sought to address other health problems that come with age like the rates of cognitive and functional decline
, the epidemiology of dementia and the clinical pathological correlations in the oldest-old people.