What risk factors are associated with Alzheimer's disease?

Richard Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A large number of risk factors have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This article discusses the validity of the major risk factors that have been identified including age, genetics, exposure to aluminium, head injury, malnutrition and diet, mitochondrial dysfunction, vascular disease, immune system dysfunction, and infection. Rare forms of early-onset familial AD (FAD) are strongly linked to the presence of specific gene mutations, viz. mutations in amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin (PSEN1/2) genes. By contrast, late-onset sporadic AD (SAD) is a multifactorial disorder in which age-related changes, genetic risk factors, such as allelic variation in apolipoprotein E (Apo E) gene, vascular disease, head injury and risk factors associated with diet, the immune system, mitochondrial function, and infection may all be involved. Life-style changes that may reduce the effect of these risk factors and therefore, the risk of AD are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-143
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Medical and Biological Frontiers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014


  • Alzheimer disease
  • risk factors
  • aging
  • genetics
  • environmental factors


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