The good news is that almost all risk factors are preventable.
Dementia is one of the most terrible and sad age—related diseases, from which, alas, no one is completely immune. However, there are proven risk factors, many of which can be controlled years before the disease manifests itself. Here are the main ones so that you can check yourself and your loved ones.
This is one of the few factors that cannot be controlled. According to the Stanford Health Care portal, if your older relatives develop dementia, you are more likely to be predisposed to this disease. However, there is no absolute connection here, and in most cases it is impossible to predict the risk of developing a disorder in a particular person only on the basis of a family history.
Several recent studies have shown that smoking significantly increases the risk of dementia. The same is true for alcohol abuse.
A high level of “bad” cholesterol in the body leads to atherosclerosis — the accumulation of cholesterol plaques on the inner lining of the arteries. And this, in turn, is one of the most significant risk factors for dementia, since plaques prevent the delivery of blood to the brain.
High homocysteine levels
Homocysteine is a sulfur—containing amino acid in blood plasma. If its level is above average, it can also increase the risk of developing vascular dementia over the years.
Diabetes is a risk factor for both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
People who have had a stroke (at any age) are also at risk.
Mild cognitive impairment
If you complain more often about forgetfulness, have difficulties with decision—making and speech formulation (although you did not notice all this for yourself before), this is a serious reason to visit a specialist (such disorders are dealt with by a neurologist and a psychiatrist). The fact is that, according to research, 40 percent of people over the age of 65 who were diagnosed with such mild cognitive impairment developed dementia within three years. But even if you are much younger, you should not treat brain disorders too lightly.