Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes people to lose their memory. In the elderly, it is the most common cause of dementia. The areas responsible for memories are usually affected earlier and more noticeably than other of the brain. During the early stage, people start forgetting recent events and conversations. As the disease progresses, it can lead to severe memory impairment and the inability to carry out daily tasks.
While approx. 60% of cases of Alzheimer’s disease don’t have a clearly identified cause, there are a number of known risk factors that can be influenced and addressed during both earlier and later stages of life – and even during early disease onset. Our team at MemoryClinic.net is specialized on helping you address these risk factors.
These are the factors that we can not change. These include
- Age. The risk for the disease increases with the increasing age, especially after the age of 60 years. After, age of 65 years risk of the disease doubles every five years. However, it can affect at a young age as well, i.e., 40 years or less. In this case, it is called early-or young-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
- Family history. Risk for the Alzheimer’s disease is very high in first-degree- relatives (your parent or sibling) having the disease. The risk for the disease is also higher if multiple family members have Alzheimer’s disease.
- Genetics. People with a mutation in the apolipoprotein E gene( APOE e4) have a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Down Syndrome. People with Down syndrome have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, the mechanism for developing Alzheimer’s is not known. The disease appears 10-20 years earlier as compared with the general population.
- Sex. Some studies have shown that females have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared with males.
2. Controllable factors
Controllable factors are those for which we can take steps to change or influence. These factors include:
- Cardiovascular health
The factors which cause cardiovascular disease are also associated with increased risk for
Alzheimer’s disease. These factors include
– High blood pressure
– High cholesterol level
– Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
– Sedentary lifestyle
- Obesity. Obesity causes multiple issues, and one of them is to double the risk for Alzheimer’s.
- Head injury. According to research, people aged 50 years or old with traumatic brain injury have an increased risk for Alzheimer’s.
- Cognitive impairment. Mental challenges such as gaming, reading, higher education, and an engaging job keep cognitive functions healthy. Lack of these challenges leads to cognitive impairment, which
significantly increases the risk of developing dementia.
- Disturbed sleep patterns. Some studies have shown that people with poor sleep patterns and having difficulty falling asleep have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Excessive alcohol intake. Many studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption leads to brain changes and
increases Alzheimer’s risk.
- Depression. People with untreated depression have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Social isolation. Research suggests that loneliness and social isolation cause an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
To assess your personal risk, please complete our Dementia risk factor assessment