The most common reason for dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease. Dementia refers to a condition wherein which cognitive abilities decrease and there seems an interference with daily activities (i.e. driving, cooking, paying bills, shopping, etc.)
Alzheimer’s Disease: Risk Factors
- Age- Ageing is a major risk factor. The age-specific incidence rates have doubled in every 4.4 years post 60 years of age.
- Gender– Women suffer more than men comparatively from Alzheimer’s disease dementia.
- Hypertension- Systolic blood pressure higher than 160mm Hg, raises the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia in later part of life.
- Elevated glucose and diabetes– Type II diabetes is linked to high incidence of dementia.
- Injury of Head– Post a severe injury on head, the level of Aβ42 in the CSF decline and presence of APOE4 allele may convene an increased risk of dementia post a head injury.
- Other Factors – Other risk factors linked to higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease comprise of smoking, anaemia, cerebrovascular disease and obesity. Genetic causes could be Amyloid precursor Protein (APP) Chromosome 2, Presenil 1&2 or (PSEN1&2), (APOE4) or Apolipoprotein E4
How to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?
Below are some Protective factors:
- Higher education
- Extracurricular activity
- Limited alcohol consumption
- Consumption of unsaturated and un-hydrogenated fats
Diagnosis and investigations associated with Alzheimer’s Disease
Criteria of Diagnosis
Abnormal cognitive deterioration is gradual and is yet progressive and impairs the daily activities. Impairment takes place in several functions such as memory, calculation, language, executive function, visuospatial, etc. There is also biomarker analysis done to detect the presence of Alzheimer’s Disease.
- CSF study
- Fall in CSF Aβ 42
- Rise in CSF Tau protein
- Neuroimaging Biomarkers
- CT scan or MRI
- Functional imaging
- Amyloid Imaging