Alzheimer’s is the most widespread type of dementia, a neurologic illness that can cause memory loss and harm thinking and causes for more deaths than breast and prostate cancer combined. Over 6 million people aged 65 and older are suffering from Alzheimer’s, a number expected to reach 14 million people by 2060.
When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, there are some important factors that are well connected to the disease. Keep reading to find out more about the top cause of Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s and Age
By far the most significant risk for getting Alzheimer’s is age, with your chances of catching the disease doubling every five years after you reach 65. It is vital to note that while the risk of Alzheimer’s goes up with age, aging is itself not a true cause.
“It’s crucial for these people who are over 65 to know the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s and maybe have a cognitive assessment done every 5 years,” says Melanie Keller ND.
It’s not only older people at risk from the disease — statistics reveal that 5% to 6% of people with the illness have “early onset” Alzheimer’s, which means having symptoms before 65.
Unfortunately there are some hereditary factors to Alzheimer’s disease — 40-65% of those who are diagnosed are known to have the APOE-e4 gene, the gene linked with the highest risks for getting Alzheimer’s.
“When someone has greater risk for Alzheimer’s because of their family history, I tell them to get specific functional tests that find Alzheimer’s-linked immune reactivity to find the early stage of neurodegenerative processes or to watch the effectiveness of lifestyle changes for Alzheimer’s disease,” says Keller.
Other Risk Factors
While research is still continuing about the treatment and causes of Alzheimer’s, there are other not so common risk factors to be known, according to the NHS: People who have Down’s syndrome, heart disease, brain injuries, chronic loneliness, hearing loss, and depression, and those living in a sedentary lifestyle have an greater risk of getting Alzheimer’s. While there is a strong connection between these conditions and the illness, it is more of a correlation than a completely proven cause.
Author: Blake Ambrose