6 Factors That Often Lead to Alzheimer’s Disease

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6 Common Risk Factors for Alzheimer's Disease in Waterloo, ON

Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of adults around the world. By the year 2050, statisticians predict the number of people living with the disease is expected to rise exponentially. Many different factors play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and the majority of them are preventable. 

1. Genetics

Adults who have a parent or a sibling diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease have an increased risk of developing the disorder. The apolipoprotein E4, or APOE4, gene is responsible for creating the risk. If an individual inherits two copies of the gene, the risk factor rises tenfold. However, not all people with a family history of Alzheimer’s develop the disease.

Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s home care. Waterloo, ON, families can rely on the caregivers at Home Care Assistance to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Using our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while promoting cognitive health.

2. Smoking

Smoking two or more packs of cigarettes a day doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. On the other hand, people who smoke half a pack or less daily are not at an increased risk. The chemical compounds in tobacco products cause oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular constriction, which are thought to be the contributing factors to developing Alzheimer’s disease.

3. High Alcohol Consumption

Light to moderate alcohol consumption may have protective effects on the brain. For older adults, this means limiting alcohol intake to one or two drinks per day. Excessive alcohol is known to damage brain cells and affect other body organs and systems. Adults who consume alcohol excessively and have the APOE4 gene are at a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Obesity

Obese seniors are likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. However, having a body mass index of more than 27 can also lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Being excessively overweight interferes with blood circulation and increases the risk of inflammation, which could encourage beta-amyloid accumulation in the brain. 

Obesity is a serious health issue that raises the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and makes it difficult to manage everyday activities. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Waterloo elder care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

5. High Blood Pressure

When seniors have high blood pressure, the increased stress on the vascular system damages the small, delicate arteries in the brain, which interferes with blood flow and shrinks brain tissue. The cell damage then leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Middle-aged and older adults should strive to maintain a systolic blood pressure of 140 or lower. 

6. Diabetes

Adult-onset diabetes has been shown to increase the likelihood of having a stroke, which could lead to the development of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Autopsies performed on the brains of people with diabetes demonstrated above-normal levels of the beta-amyloid protein, which is known to be an underlying cause of the plaques and tangles found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s. Diabetics with uncontrolled blood sugar levels are known to have vascular damage and reduced blood circulation, which could also contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

Caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be a difficult task. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Waterloo, Ontario, in-home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, call us at (519) 954-2111 today.

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