Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia. It is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other critical mental functions.
People start forgetting names, recent events, and conversations during the early stage. As the disease progresses, it leads to severe memory impairment and the inability to carry out daily tasks. Alzheimer's strongly impairs logical thinking, planning, and making reasonable decisions. Currently, there is no pharmacological cure for the disease.
Multiple factors are working together, which cause this disease. These include, among others:
1. Age: the risk for the disease increases with increasing age, especially after the age of 60 years. Older
people have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. Studies show that age-related brain changes make older people more vulnerable to the molecules and proteins involved in the process. However, it can also affect at a young age, i.e., 40 years or less.
2. Family history: The risk for Alzheimer's is very high in first-degree- relatives (your parent or sibling) having the disease. The risk for the disease is also higher if multiple family members have Alzheimer's disease. Genes play a significant role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, increasing the risk by 70%.
3. Genetics: The APOE-e4 gene, in particular, plays a crucial role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. 56% of Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer's had at least one copy of the APOE-e4 gene. 11% had two copies of the gene.
4. Environment: A family history of this disease gives you a 70% risk of developing Alzheimer's. 30% of the risk can come from environmental factors. These include exposure to hazardous compounds, pollutants, and chronic health problems.