Alzheimer’s disease could be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle. A new research has narrowed down to nine risk factors that could precipitate the degenerative memory disease in persons. These include overweight, illiteracy, and type two diabetes, constriction of the carotid artery in the neck, depression, and hypertension, elevated levels of a particular amino acid, frailty can be traced to 80% of Alzheimer’s patients.
Smoking and Diabetes have been seen especially in Asian populations. The authors were quick to point out that the data showed only association, not causation.
Dr. Jin-Tai Yu, study lead author and associate specialist, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco said that the study does point out to benefits accrued by addressing to modifiable risk factors. Researchers evaluated 323 studies that were conducted between 1968 and 2014. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
The study revealed that more women get afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease than men, and the symptoms worsen fast as compared to men. The study also revealed that smoking was a significant risk factor that can precipitate Alzheimer’s disease. Jin-Tai Yu adds that healthy diet was a major protective factor in the much praised Mediterranean diet
Lifestyle changes may help in controlling dementia in younger people who are prone to it, but researchers say they so not know why this happens. Dementia affects five to seven percent of the population. Of these, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for more than 60%.
According to figures released by the National Institute on Aging, 5 million Americans are believed to suffer from the ailment. Till date, there is no cure for the disease and Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth major cause of mortality in the United States according to figures released by CDC. However, research is focused on steps that can reduce the risk and severity of the disease.