What Causes Alzheimer's Disease?

Many people today are concerned with Alzheimer's disease, either because they are concerned with getting it themselves or are concerned with an aging parent or spouse who may already be showing symptoms. If you can pinpoint what causes Alzheimer's disease, perhaps there's something you can do to avoid getting it, or delay it as much as possible.

Scientists and biologists have much to learn about the human brain, and Alzheimer's disease in particular. They have yet to pinpoint exactly what causes it or why it affects certain people and not others. Of course, they are making new discoveries every single day, but again, they still have quite a ways to go.

It's believed that genetics plays a large part in whether or not someone gets Alzheimer's disease, and at what age. It's also noteworthy that Alzheimer's disease is degenerative, meaning that it gets worse over time. How it progresses is also very different between each patient, and again, genetics no doubt plays a huge role in this. If you have a family history of the disease, your risk factor increases, although a lack of history with the disease does not guarantee that you won't get it either.

Age is of course a factor. The risk of contracting it doubles every five years after the age of 65, meaning that if genetics gives you a 10% risk of getting it at 65, you have a 20% chance at 70, a 40% chance at 75, an 80% chance at 80, and so on.

There is some thought that there are outside factors that increase one's risk of getting Alzheimer's disease. This includes such things as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, lack of certain vitamins and minerals, and a lack of exercise and social contact may increase one's risk.

Perhaps in the next few years scientists and doctors will come to understand what causes Alzheimer's disease and from there will be able to find a cure, or even prevent it from developing in the first place. But in the meantime, all that anyone can do is take the best care of themselves that they possibly can. Eat a nutritious diet, take a multi-vitamin, get regular exercise, build your family bonds, and watch your health overall. These things of course can't guarantee that you won't get Alzheimer's disease, but there is research to suggest that they can help to delay or offset it somewhat.

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