A recent study has determined that there is another factor to be aware of when it comes to Alzheimer’s risk. A study by Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has linked body weight with higher levels of a protein in the brain that is present with Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s Risk Factors
- Genetics – Although you cannot change your genetics, you can gain understanding about increased risk if you know that Alzheimer’s disease has been in your family. Even though it hasn’t been determined how much of an increase risk factor genetics may be, there is a general consensus that when genetic predisposition and at least one other factor are in place there is a higher chance of AD.
- Age – As you age your risk for getting AD increases. Those aged 85 and over are in a higher risk category; with 18% of those 80-89 and nearly 30% of those 90 and over being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
- Body Weight – A new study presented in the August 3, 2016 Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, has determined that there is an increased risk of Alzheimer’s associated with being underweight. While more conclusive studies are needed, it seems that those who are underweight show higher amounts of amyloidal deposits on their brain scan MRIs. Amyloid protein deposits are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Gender – Women are more likely to be diagnosed with AD than men, according to The Alzheimer’s Association.
- Heart Health – There have been studies that confirm a probable connection between heart health and brain health. Because your brain supplies the brain and body with blood and oxygen, any problem with your heart can likely be associated with brain health; being linked to what is known as vascular dementia.
- Diabetes – Ongoing research has determined that there may be a connection between insulin levels, insulin intolerance, and blood sugars and vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s risk. Researchers feel that both diabetes and dementia/Alzheimer’s may feed off of each other; creating multiple symptoms and medical issues associated with both dementia and diabetes.
Alzheimer’s Risk and Prevention
There are no firm prevention methods currently associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, with continued research and information provided there are many factors that point to positive prevention methods being determined in the near future.
- The Mediterranean Diet
- Brain Trauma Prevention
- Stroke Prevention
- Diabetes Cures & Prevention
- Heart Health
All of the above can play an important part in the future of Azheimer’s prevention.
Senior Living Experts helps you find a safe living environment in the Chicago area, if you or someone you love are experiencing signs of dementia or have been diagnosed. While genetic testing is not currently determined to be an effective way of determining Alzheimer’s risk you may want to read more about genetic testing with this PDF article from The Alzheimer’s Association.