There are a number of factors that are clearly associated with risk of dementia, and specifically Alzheimer’s disease-related dementia. For example, there’s a dramatic increase in risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in people who have been diagnosed with type two diabetes. Sedentarity, meaning lack of physical activity, is also associated with increased risk as are early life stress, head trauma, and low educational level.
Research has also demonstrated a relationship of Alzheimer’s risk to childhood socioeconomic status as well as school performance.
But an important missing link in these studies that demonstrate associations is an actual demonstration, not of the cognitive impairment, but of actual physical changes that take place in the brain that may then relate to decline in the brain’s function. Continue reading