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The cause of Alzheimer’s disease


It is likely that a number of combined factors are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. These include:

• age

• genetic inheritance

• environmental factors

• diet

• overall general health.

Age is the greatest risk factor for dementia, but other factors are important. Although inherited factors may be a feature, they appear to be a less prominent feature generally, even if a parent or other close relative has the disease.

This uncertainty is similar when considering environmental factors, and research continues. People with Down’s syndrome who live into their 50s and 60s may develop Alzheimer’s disease, and those who have had severe head or whiplash injuries appear to be at an increased risk of developing dementia. Research has also shown that people who smoke and those who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels increase their risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

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