Risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease: Which is the worst?

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A new study at the Ohio State University suggests that genetic risk may outweigh age as a predictor of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals over the age of 65.

The study used machine learning models to analyze data from nearly half a million individuals to determine risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

The study found that age was the most significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease in the entire population.

However, for older adults aged 65 and older, genetic risk, as determined by a polygenic risk score, was a stronger predictor of the disease.

The team emphasized the importance of considering genetic information when researching Alzheimer’s disease.

They also highlighted the need to take preventive measures against the disease, given that there is no known cure.

The study also found that low household income was a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, ranking either third or fourth after the effects of age and genetics.

This suggests that socioeconomic factors may play a role in the development of the disease.

Interestingly, the study found that a few non-genetic risk factors differed between people with and without Alzheimer’s disease.

In people with Alzheimer’s disease, higher systolic and lower diastolic blood pressure, diabetes, lower household income and education levels, recent falls, hearing difficulty, and a mother’s history of having Alzheimer’s disease were more common.

The study’s top 20 list of risk factors for the full sample of adults included diagnoses of high blood pressure, urinary tract infection, depressive episodes, fainting, unspecified chest pain, disorientation, and abnormal weight loss.

Other risk factors in the top 20 for people aged 65 and older included high cholesterol and gait abnormalities.

The study’s use of machine learning allowed researchers to explore the relationships among multiple variables, pick out the most important features, and rank certain features that contribute more to Alzheimer’s disease risk than others.

Overall, the study emphasizes the importance of considering genetic information and socioeconomic factors when researching Alzheimer’s disease.

By understanding the risk factors, individuals can take preventive measures, and healthcare professionals can develop effective and low-cost screening programs to detect and manage the disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a complex and devastating condition that can greatly impact the lives of individuals and their families.

While there is no known cure, there are steps that individuals can take to potentially reduce their risk of developing the disease.

Exercise regularly: Exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on brain health and may help to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

Follow a healthy diet: A healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, has been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

Get enough sleep: Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Aim to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night to promote brain health.

Manage stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact brain health and increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as practicing mindfulness, deep breathing, or yoga.

Stay socially engaged: Social isolation and loneliness have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Stay socially engaged by joining a club or group, volunteering, or spending time with loved ones.

Challenge your brain: Engaging in mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, playing games, or learning a new skill, may help to keep the brain healthy and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about the root cause of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s, and 5 steps to protect against Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that herb rosemary could help fight COVID-19 and Alzheimer’s, and results showing these antioxidants could help reduce the risk of dementia.

The study was conducted by Xiaoyi Raymond Gao et al and published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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