6 Common Factors That Lead to Alzheimer’s Disease

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6 Common Alzheimer's Risk Factors in Knoxville, TN

Alzheimer’s disease is an incredibly complex medical condition. Researchers aren’t quite sure what triggers cognitive decline, and they haven’t yet discovered a cure. However, they have identified several important risk factors. Here are six of the most common factors that lead to Alzheimer’s disease. 

1. Age

After reaching the age of 65, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases dramatically. The chances of developing this health issue almost doubles with each half-decade, and for people aged 85 and older, there is a 50 percent chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. 

Alzheimer’s disease is a serious health issue that impacts a senior’s overall health, wellbeing, and ability to perform daily tasks. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an in-home care provider Knoxville, Tennessee, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.  

2. Genetics

Diseases can pass down genetically either through risk genes or deterministic genes. Alzheimer’s risk genes don’t guarantee someone will develop the disease, but they do raise the likelihood. Scientists believe the apolipoprotein gene known as APOE4 may be a causal factor in more than 20 percent of Alzheimer’s cases. Alzheimer’s deterministic genes, on the other hand, are directly responsible for causing the disease. If people inherit these genes, they will eventually develop Alzheimer’s. There are several variations of protein-coding genes that can cause Alzheimer’s disease, such as APP, PS1, and PS2.

3. Cardiovascular Health

Some risk factors like genetics and age can’t be helped, but others can be mitigated through healthy lifestyle choices. When seniors have poor heart health, they are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as they age. Seniors who have high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, or a history of strokes are also highly susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. To boost heart health, seniors should eat healthy, exercise regularly, and maintain a regular sleep schedule. 

If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits and accomplishing daily tasks, a Knoxville caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers are expertly trained to provide mental and social stimulation, assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and much more.

4. Head Injuries

Studies suggest head trauma increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. While seniors can’t mitigate the impact of past head trauma, they can prevent it from occurring in the future. Seniors can sustain significant injuries when they slip or fall, and they should implement home safety precautions such as installing grab bars in key locations of the house and removing trip hazards like loose rugs and power cords. They can also take measures to stay safe while out of the house, like wearing a seatbelt. 

5. Smoking

Smoking has a negative impact on heart health, and it can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well. Studies suggest smokers are 45 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than comparably healthy nonsmokers. Seniors who want to minimize their Alzheimer’s risk should try to quit smoking. 

6. Excessive Alcohol Intake

Drinking a glass of wine with dinner every night isn’t an Alzheimer’s risk factor, since the resveratrol in red wine may boost cognitive function. However, when seniors drink excessively, it increases their risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Heavy drinking can also lead to Korsakoff’s syndrome, a type of dementia caused by alcohol misuse. By lowering their alcohol intake, older adults can reduce their likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

For many families in Knoxville, Tennessee, Alzheimer’s care is an essential component of helping their elderly loved ones remain healthy, safe, and happy in the comfort of home. From cognitive stimulation to help with tasks like meal prep, light housekeeping, and transportation, the caregivers at Home Care Assistance are the top choice for families who cannot provide the Alzheimer’s care their aging loved ones need and deserve. To learn about our revolutionary in-home care plans, call one of our professional Care Managers at (865) 229-4981 today.

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