World Alzheimer’s Day, which falls on 21st September every year, was first celebrated in 2012 as part of the campaign launched by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI). The organization believes that knowledge about dementia is alarmingly inadequate around the world, as a consequence of which, patients often suffer stigmatization or negligence in society. To combat misinformation, it is important to know the implications that Alzheimer’s has for patients.
What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
Considered the most common reason behind the onset of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease triggers the degeneration of brain cells, and as a progressive disorder, it has the potential to cause severe memory impairment and subsequent loss of social and behavioural skills. The most common causes of Alzheimer’s disease are—
Family History - The genes that have been passed on to you by your family can contribute to the overall risk of developing the disease, especially if dementia has previously featured in the family tree. It is best to consult a doctor and seek genetic counselling for reducing your chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
Cardiovascular Diseases - Several studies have established links between cardiovascular diseases and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, especially in cases wherein diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity tend to feature. Making better lifestyle choices goes a long way in keeping serious diseases at bay.
Down’s Syndrome - The genetic factor that results in Down Syndrome has an important hand to play when it comes to triggering Alzheimer’s, for it causes a gradual and sustained build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain and may cause irreversible memory impairment to the person who already has Down’s Syndrome.
Age - Age is possibly the most important factor for charting the development of Alzheimer’s in people. People above 65 years of age are at a doubled risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but this doesn’t mean that younger people possess no risk. Every one person out of twenty with Alzheimer’s tends to be under 65 years old. Young or early-onset Alzheimer’s is as much serious and severe as late-onset Alzheimer’s.
Head Injury - People who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury tend to be at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s, although the research establishing the connection between the two factors is still ongoing.
For reducing the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease one has to subscribe to a lifestyle motivated by healthy living habits. Opt for regular testing and check-ups as you grow older, especially if Alzheimer’s disease tends to run in the family.