An increased risk for developing Alzheimer's disease is linked to the presence of apoE4, a genetic factor, which is also strongly associated with developing atherosclerosis which increases the risk for Cardiovascular disease (Altman R, Rutledge JC, 2010).
The authors of the same article state that cardiovascular risk factors, including elevated blood cholesterol and triglycerides, increase the likelihood of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
Researchers have also found that atherosclerosis causing obstruction of arteries at the base of the brain was more extensive in a group with Alzheimer's disease when compared with a control group without dementia (Roher AE, et.al., 2011). Arterial stiffness, atherosclerosis, endothelial degeneration and dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier can induce several features of Alzheimer's disease including atrophy of certain areas of the brain (Kalaria RN, et.al., 2012).
The endothelium is the inner lining of the blood vessels. There are also other risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and dementia, I will write more about that later.
Making changes to the way you eat is the most effective way to reduce cardiovascular risk, and you would most likely also reduce your risk for Alzheimerâ€™s disease and dementia at the same time. When we correct the reasons for chronic conditions, we see an improvement in many areas, since the same reasons are involved in most chronic conditions.
Altman R, Rutledge JC. The vascular contribution to Alzheimer's disease. Clin Sci (Lond). 2010 Aug 5;119(10):407-21.
Kalaria RN, Akinyemi R, Ihara M. Does vascular pathology contribute to Alzheimer changes? J Neurol Sci. 2012 Nov 15;322(1-2):141-7.
Roher AE, Tyas SL, Maarouf CL, Daugs ID, Kokjohn TA, Emmerling MR, Garami Z, Belohlavek M, Sabbagh MN, Sue LI, Beach TG. Intracranial atherosclerosis as a contributing factor to Alzheimer's disease dementia. Alzheimers Dement. 2011 Jul;7(4):436-44.
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