This year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC
) revealed surprising news about risk factors related to Alzheimer's, adolescents, young adults, and diagnosis.
For years, researchers have believed and touted that on average, Alzheimer's patients are diagnosed at 80
, and symptoms appear after 60. However, new research reveals that the risk factors surrounding Alzheimer’s disease may appear much earlier — even in the teens or early 20s.
Growing body of proof
The new findings revealed at AAIC also indicate that these risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, disproportionately affect African Americans. This is critical information when you consider that older African American adults are twice as likely
to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease than older white adults.
Perhaps if young adults are diagnosed and treated for contributing diseases, it would reduce the number of senior African American adults who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's later in life.
In an AAIC press release
, Maria C. Carrillo, PhD, the Alzheimer’s Association's chief science officer, said, “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.”
Diverse group to participate in clinical study