Running head: RISK FACTORS AND CAUSES
RISK FACTORS AND CAUSES
Over five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014b). Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease with progressive brain cell death over time causing memory loss and cognitive decline. Although there are no known definite causes for the disease, there are many unavoidable risk factors including age, family history and gender.
Among all the risks factors to developing Alzheimer’s disease, age is the leading contributing factor (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014a). After the age of 65, the risk of developing the disease doubles every five years and after the age of 85 the risk of development reaches nearly fifty percent (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014a). One to two percent of people aged 70 have the disease and forty percent of people 80 years or older have Alzheimer’s disease (Crystal, 2013). As a person’s age increases, their risk of developing the disease increases with every year, making age the greatest risk factor linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Family history is the second greatest risk factor after age in developing the disease (MacGill, 2014). Research has shown that the risk of Alzheimer’s increases if a parent, brother, sister, or child has had the disease (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014a). Genes and environment both may play a part in development when the disease runs in the family. Research has found genes that increase the risk of development, but do not guarantee development will happen (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014a). Among these genes APOE-e4 has the greatest impact on risks
RISK FACTORS AND CAUSES
of development (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014). A person who inherits a copy of APOE-e4 from one parent has an increased risk of development, and if inherited from both parents, has an even higher risk (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014). Family history is, for this reason, the second greatest risk factor to developing Alzheimer’s. With each...
References: Alzheimer’s Association. (2014a). “What we know today about Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Alzheimer’s Association Research World Wide.” Retrieved from (October 2014) http://
Alzheimer’s Association. (2014b). “Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures.” Alzheimer’s Association
Research World Wide.” Retrieved from (November 2014) http:// www.alz.orgresearch/
ALZinfo.org. (2014). “Why Women May Be More Likely to Get Alzheimer’s.” Fisher Centre
for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation
Retrieved from (October 2014) http://www.medicinenet.com/
MacGill, M. (2014, September 11). "What is Alzheimer 's disease? Causes, symptoms and
treatment." Medical News Today
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