Sunday, February 25

Researchers Discover 15 Everyday Factors That Increase Early Dementia Risk

Early-onset dementia before age 65 has long been blamed on genetics alone. But groundbreaking new research reveals it’s not just genes at play. A team of scientists has identified 15 lifestyle and environmental factors that can significantly raise one’s risk of developing dementia early in life.

The study, published in JAMA Neurology, analyzed health data from over 350,000 participants under 65 in the UK Biobank. It highlights influences like alcohol use disorder, hearing loss, social isolation, depression, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. According to the researchers, these factors point to new prevention strategies beyond genetic screening.

As Dr. Stevie Hendriks of Maastricht University explains, “Young-onset dementia has a serious impact because people affected are still busy with jobs, children, and life.” Early intervention is crucial.

The Surprising Everyday Factors:

  • Loneliness and social isolation
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Lower education levels
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Depression
  • Hearing impairment
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease

While genes do play a role, this study proves environmental and lifestyle factors are highly influential in developing early dementia. The best news? Many are within our control to change through healthy habits and proactive care.

As Professor David Llewellyn of the University of Exeter says, “for the first time it reveals we may be able to take action to reduce risk of this debilitating condition.”

So don’t leave dementia risk to chance. Be aware of these everyday factors and work to reduce them. Your future brain health depends on it.

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