Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition in which a person gradually loses their memory and ability to think, speak, and carry out everyday tasks. This disease most commonly affects the elderly, although rarely early-onset Alzheimer’s can affect individuals aged 30 to 60. This condition results in a buildup of amyloid plaques (clumps) and tau (tangled fibers) in the brain. The cause is unknown, but inflammation, decreased blood supply to the brain, and decreased glucose levels may play a part in addition to the buildup of plaque and tau. There are several conditions that may possibly increase your risk of Alzheimer’s or worsen the symptoms of the disease.
13. Heart Disease or Stroke
A decreased blood supply to the brain can contribute to symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Therefore, conditions that interfere with blood supply can be risk factors for this condition. Medical conditions that affect the heart’s ability to pump an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood to other parts of the body will affect the brain. The Alzheimer’s Association lists the heart-head connection as a tie between heart and blood supply problems that increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. High blood pressure, stroke, and cardiac disease all damage the heart muscle or blood vessels.
12. High Cholesterol
High cholesterol can be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. This may be related to the effects on the blood supply to the brain when blood vessels become filled with fatty deposits. Since high cholesterol often occurs along with heart disease or diabetes, the combination of these conditions may place an individual at greater risk. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, more research is needed to determine whether cholesterol levels in the brain directly contribute to the development of the amyloid plaques of Alzheimer’s.