We now know early intervention could decrease the likelihood of more than one-third of dementia cases around the world. In fact, approximately 35% are attributed to nine modifiable risk factors, including high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, hearing loss, smoking, depression, social interaction and lack of physical exercise. Therefore, monitoring which foods we eat, starting or continuing basic cardio and strength training programs, engaging the mind in the cognitive challenges and managing vascular risk factors all play demonstrable, critical roles in maintaining cognition before disease strikes.
In line with previous studies, the researchers found that having one or more first-degree relatives with Alzheimer’s put people at significantly higher risk for the disease. People with one first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s were 1.73 times more likely to develop the disease. Looking further into the family tree, people with two first-degree relatives with Alzheimer’s were nearly four times more likely to develop the disease. Those with three first-degree relatives were nearly two-and-half more times likely, and those with four were almost 15 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
A newly described dementia strikes people in their last decades of life. The disease, aptly named LATE, comes with symptoms that resemble Alzheimer’s disease, but is thought to be caused by something completely different.