As we are living longer, scientists and researchers are working to identify risk factors in developing Alzheimer’s disease and how to use that information in daily life. Age, genetics, and lifestyle all may play a part. There is growing evidence that a combination of interventions i.e. aerobic exercise, weight training, optimal sleep patterns, adopting a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet rich in monounsaturated fats, low in saturated fats and eliminating trans fats from the diet all could impact one’s brain health. In addition, stress reduction, staying engaged socially and cognitively might play a role as well.

Some preliminary studies have also identified a possible link between periodontal gum disease and the increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The increased disease-causing bacteria under the surface of the gumline can contribute to increased inflammation in one’s body. Other predictive studies involve patterns and eye movements as biomarkers to detect changes in brain activity. These very exciting, yet preliminary avenues of research hold hope in paving the way to greater understanding of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other cognitively impairing diseases.

Innovative Approaches to Alzheimer’s Diagnostics and Research

2019 Annual Research Meeting

NIA Information on Reducing Risk

Source: National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center