A comprehensive literature review reveals a surprising number of factors that have been shown to mitigate the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
A new study from researchers at Qingdao University in China has linked statins, anti-inflammatory drugs, alcohol, and coffee to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. According to a report from BT, however, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s is still increased by diabetes, depression, and hypertension.
According to the study, which was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, several risk factors and protective factors all affected the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study included a literature review of over 300 studies examining the varying effects certain factors have on Alzheimer’s risk.
Oddly enough, various health problems often resulted in lower instances of Alzheimer’s. Patients with cancer, heart disease, arthritis, or metabolic syndrome were all less likely to develop the degenerative disease, and doctors believe it largely has to do with the treatments for each of these conditions.
Folic acid, coffee, and vitamins C and E were also linked to a lower risk of the disease. Alcohol, smoking, stress, and high body mass index in the later years were also connected to lower incidences of Alzheimer’s.
People with frailty, carotid atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, low diastolic blood pressure, and type two diabetes all faced a higher risk of developing the disease. They noted that excessive exposure to hyperhomocysteine, an amino acid produced in the body, increases Alzheimer’s risk as well. Alzheimer’s risk was also influenced by education, body mass index, and depression.
The study was largely observational, and it does more to review the growing body of research surrounding Alzheimer’s diseases than offer any breakthroughs or recommendations. The study may be able to help highlight trends in the research and point scientists in the right direction.