The Risk Factors of Alzheimer's Disease

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An old road. Decorative picture only.Researchers have identified certain factors that may increase your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These are several factors that have been identified by the researchers.

Age:
Age is a risk factor of AD. Between the age of 65 and 74, one person in 100 has AD, but one in four people over the age of 85 have AD.

Family History:
Most AD appears to be sporadic, but about 7% of the Alzheimer’s population has an early onset familial linked form of the disease.

Diabetes:
Type 2 diabetes is a risk factor.

Down’s syndrome:
Almost all individuals with down’s syndrome over the age of 40 have changes to brain cells typical of Alzheimer’s disease and usually contract the disease when they are in their 50s or 60s.

Mild cognitive impairment:
Memory impairment is beyond what is normally expected with aging, but not sufficient to be classified as dementia. It is estimated that 85% of people with mild cognitive impairment will develop Alzheimer’s disease within 10 years.

Head injury:
Brain injuries, especially concussions, increase the risk of getting AD later on.

Low levels of formal education:
People with less than six years of formal education have a greater risk of getting AD.

Menopause:
The decline in estrogen following menopause presents an increased risk for AD.

Other risk factors:
Chronic inflammatory conditions (such as certain forms of arthritis), a history of episodes of clinical depression, strokes or “mini-strokes”, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stress, inadequate exercising of the brain and obesity are also risk factors for AD.

Risk factors that are less firmly established include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and abusing drugs.

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