Overview and Findings
Bennet et al. (2012) describe a project on "Memory and Aging" which started in 1996. The primary focus of this project was to perform postmortem analysis and determine both genetic and environmental factors that facilitate the establishment of the Alzheimer's disease (AD). The study indicates that there is a likelihood that more people in coming years will be suffering from the AD as compared to the current reported cases of the AD. The study, therefore, urges individuals and the society at large to embrace preventive measures to ensure that they minimize the impact of cognitive damage in the States. Consequently, the study proposes that pharmacological changes must be enhanced to provide earlier identification of the risk factors that are associated with cognitive implications and also find ways of prolonging the period at which cognitive damage commences on the individual.
The study uses a research design which involves older people who are experiencing unknown dementia and have consented with the project researchers to assess the risk factors in their bodies. These individuals must also agree to participate in the annual clinical evaluation tests. Nonetheless, the parties must agree to donate several body parts such as the brain, spinal cord, specific muscles and nerves when they die so that they can be used to perform more studies about cognitive impairment. The respondents are the old people who are the recipient of continuous care programs from the retirement communities.
The research design used in this study plays a significant role in ensuring that different types of analysis will be carried out from the collected dataset. It also facilitates the analysis of various issues surrounding the causes and effects of old age conditions. The study design also assists in establishing the relationship between risk factors and clinical findings through the use of non-neuropathological analysis. Identification of this relationship helps the study to give valid outcomes and recommendations.
Relationship between disease and older people
The results from September 1997 until November 2011 indicates that 1,489 clinical evaluations among the participants were completed. The study comes up with various primary factors related to aging and AD. These factors include but not limited to the existence of a common cause of cognitive damage and motor capability, effects of mixed pathologies and the presence of neural reserve. The data indicates that some of the risk factors APOE and CEPT can cause clinical AD when they interact with the AD pathologies. The study also depicts that some factors such as odor identification, frailty, and grip strength are related to AD though they are not risk factors. However, they may signify AD and other related pathology that precedes dementia and MCI. The study has only been successful in determining the genetic cause of the AD pathology thus the need to examine the relationship between psychological risk factors and AD.
Limitations of the study and their solutions
The primary limitation of this study arises from the existence of few minorities based on the racial and ethnic lines. Thus, the outcomes of the study may not provide equal results to all races or ethnic groups. Another limitation is that the research uses volunteers who agree to autopsy only for studying purposes. Therefore, the findings of the study may fail to provide the expected results since the sample population does not represent the older generation.
My study design would embrace some different ways of research such as means of collecting data so that it minimizes these limitations. The study would include more racial and ethnic-based minorities to ensure that the examination covers all the minority groups thus improving the credibility and validity of the findings. Also, the study would collect clinical data for the Minority Aging to establish the existing and potential ethnic and racial differences. The differences found will be merged with the outcomes of the Majority Aging to provide more reliable results. Furthermore, the study will involve the general older population instead of the usual volunteers who are young thus attaining a valid representation of the population.
A Bennett, D., A Schneider, J., S Buchman, A., L Barnes, L., A Boyle, P., & S Wilson, R. (2012). Overview and findings from the rush Memory and Aging Project. Current Alzheimer Research, 9(6), 646-663.
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