Alzheimer’s disease develops when there are so many risk factors for the disease that they overwhelm the brain’s ability to maintain and repair itself. So reducing as many of the risk factors as you can makes good sense. By making healthy lifestyle choices, you may be able to reduce your risk and improve your brain’s ability to sustain long-term health.
It is possible to control some risk factors, but there are two that you can’t control: genetics and aging.
The Genetic Component
There is no doubt that genetics plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease. Yet only a small percentage of people have the inherited form of the disease. Many people have a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, but this only slightly increases their risk of getting the disease.
Age is the most significant known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Even with other risk factors present, Alzheimer’s disease never sets in until mid-to-late adulthood. However, researchers believe that the disease process starts years before symptoms appear.
Although you can’t control genetics and aging, there is a lot you can do that may help reduce your risk of getting the disease.