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Friday, 16 November 2018 07:54
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Alzheimer's Disease: Risk Factors

To continue our coverage of Alzheimer's disease this month, we're going to talk about the risk factors of the disease.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, however there are medications available to reduce symptoms. The sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner you can start these treatments and maintain your quality of life for as long as possible. Knowing you're at risk and keeping an eye out for the first symptoms can help you get a diagnosis early on. That gives you time to try the different available treatments, get your affairs in order, and make more memories with your loved one.

Are you at higher risk of Alzheimers' disease? Read on to find out.

Alzheimer's Disease Risk Factors

The first two risk factors are not really something you can control, and they're the two factors that are the most certain. They are:

  1. Age. Increasing age is the most significant risk factor of Alzheimer's disease. Most cases are diagnosed after age 65, and your risk of developing the disease doubles every five years past that. 
  2. Family history. Having a parent, brother, or sister with Alzheimer's makes you more likely to develop it yourself. Each additional family member with the disease increases your risk. When any disease runs in a family, it could be caused genetic or environmental factors—or both. When it comes to the hereditary factors, researchers have found genes that increase the risk of Alzheimer's. To learn more about genetic research into Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association.

Current Alzheimer's research indicates that Alzheimer's disease is caused by a mix of genes and other risk factors. These include:

  • traumatic brain or head injury
  • heart disease 
  • diabetes
  • history of stroke
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol

As you can see, there is a strong vascular connection to Alzheimer's disease. That's because the brain has a rich network of blood vessels that nourish our brain cells to keep our most vital organ going. Clearly, the best way to elminate this risk factor is to keep your cardiovascular system as healthy as possible. This involves maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Speak to your doctor for specific guidance based on your health and situation. 

You may have heard that aluminum exposure can cause Alzheimer's disease. This is a theory that emerged in the late 1960s as a possible cause of the disease. Studies on the subject have not found any connection between everyday aluminum exposure and Alzheimer's disease, so you can use your aluminum pans without any risk!

Remember that having all the risk factors does not mean you will develop a disease, nor does having none of the risk factors (except age) protect you from Alzheimer's disease. Risk factors just tell you that you have a higher chance of a specific disease, so you can try to reduce those factors you can actually change, and stay vigilent about signs and symptoms. 

In our next post, we'll talk about the early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease—and what's just a part of normal aging.



The Regency organization has become synonymous with the best in senior healthcare and has garnered a well deserved reputation for its unsurpassed commitment to its patients and residents.

The Regency Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers and Facilities throughout New Jersey have achieved numerous industry ‘gold standard’ benchmarks and have received accolades from all corners of the HealthCare community.

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