Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder. It damages the brain, gradually causing loss in memory and thinking ability that eventually impacts a person’s ability to care for themselves. Alzheimer’s occurs when abnormal deposits of proteins form throughout the brain. The number of plaques and tangles increase, causing neurons to die, thereby damaging the brain and causing parts of it to shrink, a process known as brain atrophy. Researchers believe damage begins decades before symptoms appear.
Experts believe there is no single cause for Alzheimer’s disease. Rather, the disease likely develops from a combination of multiple risk factors. Some factors that can contribute to your likelihood of developing the disease, such as age and family history, cannot be changed. However, there are other risk factors that can be controlled, helping to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Although scientists have not determined a definitive cause of Alzheimer's disease, there are known risk factors. Some people may be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s given their age, family history, health, lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors.
Despite some claims, experts do not believe Alzheimer’s disease is caused by drinking out of aluminum cans or using aluminum cookware, nor is it caused by flu shots, silver fillings or aspartame.
Knowing your risk factors and how to control them is key to managing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Banner Health is here to support you in achieving a long, healthy life. Schedule an appointment with Banner Health’s caring team of experts for more information about your personal risk and Alzheimer’s prevention.