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Monday, March 5, 2007

Alzheimer's Risk Factors, Are you at Risk of Alzheimer's?- by Mr Sailesh Mishra, from Karmayog, India.

Mr Sailesh Mishra having 3 years experience in Development sector in Mumbai and very involved in the cause of Senior's Community in India is sharing with us in the following article a few facts allowing us to better understand Alzheimer's Disease. The article describes us the many risks factors, Genetics and Environmental, in volved in this "Disease", as the importance of our lifestyle. As Indian population will face the problem at a very large scale, it is good to start creating awarness from this day on.

Alzheimer’s disease begins to damage the brain years before symptoms appear. Why pathological changes occur in the brain leading to such profound damage is not clear. Risk factors are things that increase your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease. Some are preventable, such as exercise, some not, for example genetic factors and age.Lets look at some risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.

Age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's : At 65 to 70 years your risk is about 1.5%At 70 to 74 years your risk is about 3.5%At 75 to 79 years your risk is about 6.8%Your risk of Alzheimer's nearly doubles every 5 years so by the age of 95 nearly one half will have Alzheimer's disease.

Genetic risk factor and Alzheimer's : Genetic risk factors as a cause of Alzheimer's disease is an area of intense investigation. Having a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s increases your risk by two to three and a half times. The more individuals in a family with Alzheimer's, the greater the risk of developing the disease (but it is not always the case).

Cardiovascular risk factors for Alzheimer's : Vascular means vessels that carry or circulate fluids, such as blood. Cardio is the heart. It is known that cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke increases your risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. The good news is that you can do something to help prevent vascular problems such as giving up smoking, a healthy diet, lowering your cholesterol and by regular exercise.

Diet and Alzheimer's risk factor : The evidence on the effects of diet and Alzheimer risk are somewhat confusing. Research on antioxidants such as vitamin E and vitamin C have conflicting results, as has Omega-3 fatty acids, found mostly in cold water fish. A healthy balanced diet is linked to a healthy heart and reduced vascular disease, all of which help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Lifestyle risk factors and Alzheimer's Smoking: There is conflicting research but there are indications that nicotine is a protector against Alzheimer's disease! However, smoking is also known to cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases that are Alzheimer's risk factors.
Lack of exercise:An increasing amount of research indicate that moderate regular exercise helps to prevent Alzheimer's.

Alcohol : Low alcohol intake can be beneficial to your health. However high alcohol intake is known to increase your risk of dementia significantly.

Intelligence, education risk factor for Alzheimer's disease : A higher standard of education has been identified as offering some protection against Alzheimer’s disease. Smaller brains and head size leading to fewer connections within the brain have also been suggested in causation of Alzheimer's disease. It is likely that poor education may mask other factors such as poverty which may well help the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Head injury and Alzheimer's risk factor : Where amyloid is deposited in the brain immediately after a head injury a positive link to dementia has been found. As has head trauma following vascular damage from such diseases as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and atherosclerotic disease.

Stress as Alzheimer's risk factor : Only one study has linked stress to Alzheimer's disease. It is thought that stress hormones (glucocorticoid hormones) may cause damage in the brain that then can contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Hormones and Alzheimer's risk factor : Women have an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease even once their longer life is factored out. Estrogen loss following menopause may be the reason.The findings on testosterone decline in older age require more research before a link is positively demonstrated.

Environment risk factor and Alzheimer's : Attempts have been made to associate environmental causes, such as high levels of aluminum with Alzheimer's. This theory is now less popular as more research is carried out.

Source :

Warm Regards,
Sailesh Mishra

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