Alzheimer and Heart Conditions
Unlike genetics and age, there are some risk factors you have some control over.
For example, managing other health conditions – diabetes and heart conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and high cholesterol – may increase a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to the NIA.
More research is needed to understand these risk factors, and some clinical trials are already underway, but it the connections bolster the idea that what’s good for your heart could also be good for your head.
Alzheimer Linked to Head Trauma
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, trauma to the head is potentially associated with an increased risk of the disease down the line. That’s based in part on observational research involving veterans from World War II.
Those who had either moderate or severe brain injuries during their military service were found to have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia later in life.
Of course, the researchers noted, there could be other factors not taken into account in the study that might have influenced that association.
The AA recommends using helmets, wearing seat belts, and “fall-proofing” your home to decrease your chances of getting a serious brain injury.
Alzheimer Linked to Smoking
A few lifestyle choices can also contribute to your risk of Alzheimer’s. According to the World Health Organization, smoking is associated with an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Researchers think this has to do with the vessels that carry blood around our body and to our brains, which are also involved in things like stroke and heart disease.
Other Unexpected Factors Can Decrease Your Risk of The Disease
Diet, exercise, social activity, and more have been all linked with decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. In fact, there are several surprisingly easy ways you can lower your chances of getting the disease.