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Alzheimer’s Disease: Am I at Risk?

Research into Alzheimer’s disease is abundant, and though it has not led to a cure or vaccine for the disease, it has revealed a number of risk factors for developing the disease. Some of these risk factors are described below.


Once someone is 65 years old, their chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease doubles every 5 years or so.


Women develop Alzheimer’s disease more frequently than men, though the reasons for this are not well understand. Some scientists have suggested that the differences in hormones in circulation in men and women could be to blame for the differences in risk for Alzheimer’s disease among women and men. However, this idea has not been well verified by research.


If members of your family, who share your genes, have Alzheimer’s disease, you are more likely to develop the disease. The risk is particularly prevalent if a parent or sibling has suffered from the disease. The gene apolipoprotein E is related to Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, the e4 version of this gene significantly increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease


Some specific conditions appear to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. These include hypertension, depression, obesity, and traumatic brain injury. Smoking and exposure to pesticides are also associated with higher rates of development of Alzheimer’s disease. Head trauma also increases the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Lifelong Mental Engagement

Research has shown that lower levels of education, less stimulating jobs, infrequent social interactions, and a lack of participation in mental challenges increase the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.


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