Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer’s disease results from a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time.
There’s no lifestyle factor that’s been conclusively shown to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, some evidence suggests that the same factors that put you at risk of heart disease may also increase the chance that you’ll develop Alzheimer’s. Examples include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Poorly controlled diabetes
- Lack of exercise
As obesity rates continue to soar among all age groups in the U.S. and most other countries, the incidence of chronic diseases spawned by excess abdominal fat follows on a parallel course. Medical scientists have repeatedly confirmed that risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and dementia increases in direct relation to overweight and obesity measures. A widely accepted falsehood is that mental decline is a natural part of the aging process. Researchers now posit that expanding waistlines are the primary cause of mental deterioration among the middle-aged and senior populations.
A study team from the French research institute INSERM in Paris has published the result of a study in the prestigious journal, Neurology that demonstrates how increased blood pressure and other metabolic factors resulting from excess body weight causes middle-aged and older adults to experience a rapid decline in cognitive skills like thinking and memory. Small increase in biomarkers such as blood pressure and blood glucose result in dramatically increased risk for many morbid illnesses, especially dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.