Risk factors for dementia
Dementia research is an essential factor in order to understand and treat the condition better. Over the past years, researchers have identified several risk factors that may affect the likelihood of developing different types of dementia. While some factors are able to decrease or optimized, others are just based on our genetics or age. Today, we will take a look into the different risk factors of dementia to increase awareness of certain triggers.
Age & Genetics
The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia highly depends on advanced age. Further, having a history of dementia in your family (having it in your genes) may also be a risk factor when it comes to predicting whether your family members might develop a type of dementia over the course of their life. However, researchers have also found that many people that have dementia in their family have never developed any form of memory loss, and many people without a family history of dementia have developed it. In many cases, it is impossible to predict a person’s risk of developing dementia purely based on family history alone according to Stanford Health Care.
Alcohol & Smoking
Recent studies have shown that smoking can significantly increase your risk of mental decline and dementia. Smoking is increasing the risk of vascular diseases, which may be the underlining cause for increasing the risk for dementia. In addition, consuming too much alcohol also increases your risk of developing mental decline.
Atherosclerosis is a buildup of deposits of fatty substances such as cholesterol in your inner lining of an artery. It significantly increases your risk for vascular dementia, due to the interference with the delivery of the blood to your brain, which may also lead to a stroke.
Diabetes is also known as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia because it is a known risk factor for atherosclerosis as well as strokes, which can both lead to dementia.
Researchers have found that high blood levels of homocysteine, which is a type of amino acid, are also a high-risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
In general, it is essential to be aware of early signs of dementia, be informed about your family history, and stick to a healthy diet and habits in order to minimize the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you want to learn more about signs of dementia, you can read more about it here.