Alzheimer's Risk Factors

Source: Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation

Source: Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation

This section discusses both Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more about the symptoms of both.

Are there Risk Factors for MCI and how is Alzheimer’s diagnosed?

There are a number of risk factors that lead to cognitive decline. The main factors are:

  • Age – With increasing age, there is a greater incidence of cognitive decline.

  • Family history – If someone’s first-degree relative (mother, father, or sibling) has Alzheimer’s, the chances are up to seven times greater that they may develop the disease.

  • Genetic Predisposition – A person with two APOe-4 genes is at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in later life.

  • Stroke

  • Diabetes

  • Depression

  • Head injury

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Cardiovascular disease

The good news is that many risk factors can be controlled effectively by adopting correct lifestyle choices to prevent Alzheimer’s.

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Diabetes: A Modifiable Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease

Source: Bright Focus Foundation

Source: Bright Focus Foundation

James M. Ellison, MD, MPH
Swank Memory Care Center, Christiana Care Health System

Learn more about the connections between Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.

In the United States population, nearly 1 in 10 of us has diabetes mellitus, a disorder of glucose metabolism that harms multiple body systems. When we refer to diabetes mellitus, we are grouping together two distinct disorders: Type 1 diabetes reflects degeneration of insulin-producing pancreatic cells, requiring treatment with insulin. Intype 2 diabetes, which may or may not require insulin treatment, insulin deficiency and resistance develop more slowly, typically a decade or longer, and result in high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

This article describes some recent findings about the relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and reviews some of the recommendations for prevention, as well as detection and treatment. Diabetes, for the purpose of this article, refers here to type 2 diabetes.

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Brain Health Is Connected to Heart Health

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Did you know that the health of your brain and your heart are connected? By keeping your heart healthy, you also lower your risk for brain problems such as stroke and dementia. Learn more about the connection between the heart and brain and steps to take to keep both healthy.

Your heart pumps blood through vessels to every part of your body, including your brain. Damage to blood vessels can lead to serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Keeping your blood vessels healthy can help you have a strong heart and brain.

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