Risk factors for Alzheimer's disease

One of the most common forms of dementia is a disease named Alzheimer's disease. Commonly occurring in those of an old age, the disease attacks the mind of the individual viciously, causing them to lose portions of their memory, eventually causing them to forget even the most basic of memories, like the people that they known and love. For that reason, the disease can particularly affect a family, bringing them to an emotional and financial breaking point. In this article, we'll inform you about some of the factors that may put you at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is a disease of much complexity, and it's difficult to pin down exactly one reason for which a person may become afflicted. There are, however, risk factors that may put you at a higher chance of developing the disease. The most principle of these risk factors is the age of an individual. Alzheimer's usually occurs only in those who are of age 65 or older. While in some extreme cases, the disease has been diagnosed in those as young as 40, most don't have to worry about it until later in life. After age 65, your chance of getting Alzheimer's increases for ever year that you are alive. Those 85 years of age or older face a risk of contracting the disease that is roughly fifty percent, illustrating exactly how prevalent the disease becomes amongst the elderly.

The second most important factor to consider when judging your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease stems from heredity. If one of your first degree relatives, meaning one of your brothers, sisters, or parents have the disease, you face a slightly higher risk of developing Alzheimer's as opposed to someone with no hereditary link. Early-onset Alzheimer's is due to a genetic mutation, and it can be easily passed from parent to child. However, this type of the disease only accounts for roughly ten percent of all Alzheimer's cases. Late-onset Alzheimer's, the most common form, has no known warning signs coming from genetics.

Sex is another risk factor for Alzheimer's. However, the reason for the correlation is questionable. Females seem to face a higher risk than males for developing Alzheimer's, but one needs to consider the fact that females live to be older than males in most cases. This may explain the correlation.

One of the few factors that you can change yourself to alter your risk of developing Alzheimer's is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The life that a person leads can do much to change their risk of Alzheimer's, and activities that help you to maintain a good level of blood pressure and a healthy heart can have beneficial effects on your chances. In addition to staying in shape physically and maintaining a healthy diet, you need to remember to exercise your mind as well. Studies have shown that those who maintain a high level of mental activity during the late years in life can decrease their risk of getting the disease.

Injuries to the head may explain the presence of Alzheimer's in some individuals. This risk factor was discovered when many ex-boxers appeared to exhibit signs of dementia. While the jury is still out on whether or not head injuries can truly contribute to a chance of developing Alzheimer's, it is definitely something to consider.

Alzheimer's Disease on the Web


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