Alzheimer’s is a highly complex disease but researchers that are studying this disease say that there are steps people can take to delay or reduce the risk of acquiring this terrible end of life condition. They caution, however, that there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s.
This is exciting news. You can be pro-active and take actions to protect yourself. Currently it is estimated that five million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number will certainly increase as the “baby boomers” age. Alzheimer’s is also the sixth leading cause of death in the USA.
A recent study that examined more than 300 studies that focused on risk factor for Alzheimer’s was recently completed and the conclusions were released. Some of these conclusions are listed below.
Genetic (family history)
Narrowing of Arteries (cholesterol)
High Blood Pressure
Type 2 Diabetes
Overall frail physical condition
Healthy Diet (such as the Mediterranean diet)
Alcohol use is moderate or less
Vitamin Intake for B9, C, and E
It should be noted that the greatest overall risk factor for acquiring Alzheimer’s is age, or advanced age. Most of those affected will be age 65 or greater. We also know that as people advance in age the probability of Alzheimer’s increases as well. Researchers estimate that the risk of Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after the age of 65. When a person reaches the age of 85 he or she has a risk factor of approximately 50 percent.
The researchers cautioned that “High Risk” factors should NOT be interpreted as causing Alzheimer’s. The best way for people to think of these high risk factors is that they correlate with Alzheimer’s, that is, those with Alzheimer’s have a higher probability of suffering from some or many of the high risk factors. Alzheimer’s is a very complex disease and researches are far from a full understanding of it and its process.