Scientists find new risk factors and early signs of Alzheimer’s disease

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What risk factors are associated with Alzheimer’s up to 15 years before the onset of the first symptoms?

This is a vital question for specialists of this neurodegenerative disease—which develops over many years before becoming clinically visible—who aim to improve early prevention for at-risk patients.

In a new study from Paris Brain Institute, researchers found 10 symptoms developed more frequently by patients reporting Alzheimer’s dementia within 15 years than by other patients of the same age.

They analyzed the anonymized medical data of nearly 40,000 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and of the same number of people who did not develop neurodegenerative diseases over the period studied.

They tested the possible link between the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and 123 health factors.

The team found the 10 most common conditions experienced by patients who go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease within 15 years.

Depression topped the list, followed by anxiety, exposure to high stress, hearing loss, constipation, cervical spondyloarthritis, memory loss, fatigue (and discomfort), and finally falls and sudden weight loss.

The connections made allowed researchers to confirm known associations, such as hearing problems or depression, and other less-known factors or early symptoms.

Although these results still need to be refined, they are already valuable for health professionals and all those involved in prevention, who could try to address these risk factors as soon as they are detected in the hopes of preventing the disease.

If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about the likely cause of Alzheimer’s disease , and new non-drug treatment that could help prevent Alzheimer’s.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about diet that may help prevent Alzheimer’s, and results showing that some dementia cases could be prevented by changing these 12 things.

The study is published in the journal The Lancet Digital Health and was conducted by Thomas Nedelec et al.

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