The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading, global voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care and support, and the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research.
According to the organization’s Web site, ALZ.org, the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is advancing age. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65. After age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent. One of the greatest mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease is why risk rises so dramatically as we grow older.
Most experts believe that the majority of Alzheimer’s disease occurs as a result of complex interactions among genes and other risk factors. Age, family history and heredity are all risk factors we can’t change. Now, research is beginning to reveal clues about other risk factors we may be able to influence through general lifestyle and wellness choices and effective management of other health conditions.
What you can do now to reduce your risk…
- Head trauma: There may be a strong link between serious head injury and future risk of Alzheimer’s, especially when trauma occurs repeatedly or involves loss of consciousness. Protect your brain by buckling your seat belt, wearing your helmet when participating in sports, and “fall-proofing” your home.
- Heart-head connection: Growing evidence links brain health to heart health. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia appears to be increased by many conditions that damage the heart or blood vessels. These include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol. Work with your doctor to monitor your heart health and treat any problems that arise.
Studies of donated brain tissue provide additional evidence for the heart-head connection. These studies suggest that plaques and tangles are more likely to cause Alzheimer’s symptoms if strokes or damage to the brain’s blood vessels are also present.
With your support and help, we can walk to raise money (and awareness) to help find a cure. We are scheduled to walk at Murray Park on September 15, 2012. For more information contact Danville Support Services at (801) 363-1521 and help us walk for the cure.