Of the Alzheimer's cases two-thirds could be attributed to 9 risk factors that are potentially fixable, according to a new study.
Factors such as obesity, carotid artery narrowing, low educational attainment, depression, high blood pressure, frailty, smoking habits, high levels of homocysteine (an amino acid), and type 2 diabetes in the Asian population were linked to about two-thirds of global Alzheimer's cases in a recent analysis of existing data.
The study is purely observational which is published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
, but the researchers think its findings could help medical professionals prescribe specific lifestyle changes that could have a targeted effect at reducing the number of Alzheimer's cases around the world.
Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia, the broad term for the deterioration of memory and mental abilities. Dementia impacts 1 in 14 people over age 65, which has no cure, according to the Alzheimer's Society.
Data from over 300 studies were pooled and analyzed to identify the most common risk factors for the disease. Some hormones, vitamins and drugs to reduce high blood pressure can help lower the risk of developing the disease while homo-cysteine and depression were associated with heightened risk, research suggests.