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Know Your Risk Factors

>Manage Your Risk Factors

Healthy Lifestyle

  Many known risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (ADRD) are extensively studied conditions that can be successfully managed. These risk factors can be mitigated by certain life style modifications and by appropriate medical treatment.

It is also important to work with your physician to establish a baseline of your overall health and to monitor it regularly. This includes an annual health exam, recommended screenings such as mammography and pap-smears for women of a certain age, and assessments for memory and other cognitive functions.

Prevent Stroke
Stroke increases an individual's risk of developing vascular dementia by 6-10 times. By controlling existing heart diseases and optimizing cardiovascular health, stroke is a preventable disease.

Manage Diabetes
Diabetes increases the risk for stroke, heart disease and hypertension, all conditions that increase the risk of vascular dementia. Treatment for diabetes is well established, and controlling it effectively can prevent cognitive impairment.

Manage High Cholesterol
High cholesterol increases the production of beta amyloid, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, and doubles the risk of developing the disease. The American Heart Association recommends that total cholesterol should be maintained below 200 mg/dL with LDL cholesterol under 100 mg/dL.

Risk level for heart disease based on total cholesterol level

Total Cholesterol Risk Level
Less than 200 mg/dL Desirable
200–239 mg/dL Borderline-High Ris
240 mg/dL and over High Risk

LDL (bad) Cholesterol Levels

LDL Cholesterol Risk Level
Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal
100 to 129 mg/dL Near Optimal/ Above Optimal
130 to 159 mg/dL Borderline High
160 to 189 mg/dL High
190 mg/dL and above Very High

Manage High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends blood pressure to be near 120/80 mmHg.

Blood Pressure Category Systolic(mm Hg)   Diastolic(mm Hg)
Normal less than 120 and less than 80
Pre-hypertension 120–139 or 80–89
High Stage 1 140–159 or 90–99
High Stage 2 160 or higher or 100 or higher

Prevent Head Injury
A strong link between serious head injury and future risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been reported. Head injury with loss of consciousness in individuals with a genetic disposition to Alzheimer's disease (the apolipoprotein E4 gene) increases the risk of the disease ten fold. It is important to protect your head by using your seat belt, wearing your helmet when participating in sports, and making homes fall-proof as appropriate.

 

 
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