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Alzheimer’s Disease Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Some countries have much higher rates of dementia than others. As the following chart illustrates, not all countries are experiencing the same prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease. The North Atlantic countries of Finland, Iceland and Sweden have some of the highest rates of dementia in the world.

Why is Finland’s dementia rate 39 percent higher than runner-up Iceland’s?

If dementia is a random or sporadic condition, there should be little or no variance in the incidence from country to country. In reality, the differences and coincidences are astounding.

The United States and other developed countries also lead the list. The undeveloped countries across Asia, Africa and South America have the lowest incidence. What causes these regional variations? Could it be an unhealthy or contaminated diet in these countries? Could it be contaminated drinking water? Or is it another source of regional environmental contamination?

Country                    Alzheimer’s/Dementia (deaths per 100K)

Finland                   34.9

Iceland                    25.1

United States         24.8

Sweden                   21.5

Netherlands           21.4

Switzerland            20.0

Cuba                        19.6

Chile                        19.6

Andorra                  19.4

Spain                       18.7

Norway                   18.6

Uruguay                 17.5

Denmark                17.4

United Kingdom   17.1

France                     16.6

Canada                    16.0

Australia                 15.3

New Zealand          15.2

Belgium                   14.6

Pakistan                  14.3

Bhutan                    13.4

Malta                       13.0

South Korea           12.0

Ireland                    11.8

Hungary                 11.5

On a localized basis, the same variations are observed. For example, in the United States, the death rate from Alzheimer’s disease is highest among residents of Washington State (a coastal state). In fact, it’s almost double the national average at 43.6/100,000.

These regional variations seem to indicate that the death rate from Alzheimer’s is not random, but one influenced by environmental and/or dietary factors. Regional spikes also could reflect the infective nature of Alzheimer’s and other forms of prion disease once they have a foothold within a population.

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