Alzheimer’s risk factors that could help early diagnosis

Reporter: Amy Oshier
Published: Updated:

More than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to more than double in the coming years. Researchers are constantly looking for clues that might help them understand what causes this disease and who is at risk.

“We know now that the process of Alzheimer’s disease begins in the brain well more than a decade before people get symptoms,” said Dr. Reisa Sperling, an Alzheimer’s researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

A recent study found people who develop infections such as Herpes Simplex 1 or cytomegalovirus in mid or late life are more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. These are not the only potential risk factors. Hearing loss is also connected to increased risk.

Dr. Sperling says understanding the role of these and other risk factors may be the key to early detection when more treatment options are available.

Click above to learn more about the risk factors researchers have identified.

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