Alzheimer's risk factors may be measurable In adolescents and young adults

Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer's Association International Conference, African Americans, The Alzheimer's Association, New research, Clinical trial

Risk factors for Alzheimer's dementia may be apparent as early as our teens and 20s, according to new research reported at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2020.

These risk factors, many of which are disproportionately apparent in African Americans, include heart health factors — such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes — and social factors like education quality. According to the Alzheimer's Association Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, older African Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementias as older whites.

"By identifying, verifying, and acting to counter those Alzheimer's risk factors that we can change, we may reduce new cases and eventually the total number of people with Alzheimer's and other dementia," said Maria C Carrillo, PhD, Alzheimer's Association chief science officer. "Research like this is important in addressing health inequities and providing resources that could make a positive impact on a person's life."

"These new reports from AAIC 2020 show that it's never too early, or too late, to take action to protect your memory and thinking abilities," Carrillo said.

The Alzheimer's Association is leading the US. Study to Protect Brain Health Through Lifestyle Intervention to Reduce Risk (US POINTER), a two-year clinical trial to evaluate whether lifestyle interventions that simultaneously target many risk factors protect cognitive function in older adults who are at increased risk for cognitive decline. US POINTER is the first such study to be conducted in a large, diverse group of Americans across the United States.