World Alzheimer's Day 2022: From Depression To Obesity, Know Risk Factors Of The Disease

World Alzheimer's Day is observed every year on September 21, to create and spread awareness among the masses regarding the disease. Read below some risk factors of the disease.

By Prerna Targhotra
Tue, 20 Sep 2022 10:50 AM IST
Minute Read
World Alzheimer's Day 2022: From Depression To Obesity, Know Risk Factors Of The Disease
Image Credits: Reuters

ALZHEIMER's is a progressive disease that destroys the memory and other important mental functions of a person. It is a neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and progressively worsens. It is a type of dementia that impacts memory, behaviour and thinking.

World Alzheimer's Day is observed every year on September 21, to create and spread awareness among the masses regarding the disease. It is a perfect opportunity to share experiences and find new ways to fight the effects of the disease. The Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) responsible for supporting victims and conducting outreach to educate people, in 1994, introduced World Alzheimer's Day in Edinburg during their annual conference on September 21 to mark its 10th anniversary. ADI coordinates World Alzheimer’s Day and World Alzheimer’s month across the globe, working with organizations and associations to organize events and create awareness.

A study published in the Lancet Neurology found that healthy living can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. The study found that some conditions in particular account for up to half of the 35 million cases of Alzheimer's around the world. Let's read below some risk factors of Alzheimer's disease:

1. Smoking

The WHO Knowledge Summary on Tabacco and Dementia explains many reasons responsible for the link between smoking and dementia. It is known that smoking increases the risk of vascular problems which include strokes or smaller bleeds in the brain, which are risk factors for dementia. Also, toxins in cigarette smoke cause inflammation and stress to the cells which link to the development of Alzheimer's disease. Some of the known effects of smoking are known causes of the disease that cause dementia. Some researchers estimate that 14% of dementia cases worldwide are caused due to smoking.

2. Depression

Experts estimate that up to 40 per cent of people with Alzheimer's disease suffer from significant depression. Identifying depression in someone with Alzheimer's can be difficult, as dementia can cause some of the same symptoms. Depression may lead to dementia through vascular disease, increased inflammation or a rise in the accumulation of amyloid which is associated with Alzheimer's disease.

3. Lack of exercise

Regular exercise benefits the brain and the body. Physically active people are less likely to experience a decline in their mental functions and have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

4. Obesity

According to the University of Sheffield, obesity puts a severe strain on the cardiovascular system of a person and damages the brain vessel's walls. This results in high levels of inflammation, toxicity to brain cells, low metabolism and blood flow to the brain. The damaging effects of obesity on the vascular system worsen some of the mechanisms that cause Alzheimer's disease.

5. Diabetes

As per the Alzheimer's Association, people with Type 1 diabetes are at a greater risk of dementia than people without diabetes. Their study found that people with high blood sugar levels have a dramatic increase in beta-amyloid protein which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.

(Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.)

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