There are known risk factors for each of the brain diseases we treat at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
Who Is At Risk
KNOWING YOUR OWN RISK IS AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARD PROTECTING AGAINST BRAIN DISEASE.
Alzheimer's DiseaseExpand +
- Advancing age is the greatest risk. After age 65, the chance of getting the disease doubles every five years, reaching 50 percent in adults age 85 and older
- Women are at higher risk of developing AD. In fact, two-thirds of people over age 65 with AD are woman, which is partly due to the fact that women live longer than men
- Having a family member with AD makes it more likely that one will get AD. Much of the risk is due to a protein found in the blood and brain called APOE-4
- Some underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are linked to AD
- Stress, head trauma and obesity are also associated with AD
Reduce your risk for brain disease
One of the biggest misconceptions about Alzheimer's and other brain disorders is that the onset of these diseases is out of our control. In fact, studies have shown there are at least seven risk factors that are modifiable - that we can control to reduce risk of cognitive decline. They are:
- Physical Inactivity
- Cognitive inactivity
- Midlife hypertension
- Midlife obesity
It is estimated that up to half of all Alzheimer's cases worldwide may be attributed to these risk factors. At the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, we provide strategies to reduce risk for dementia.
Frontotemporal DementiaExpand +
About 40% of cases of Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) result from genetic causes. Risks for FTD in the other 60% are unknown.
Huntington's DiseaseExpand +
Huntington's disease (HD) is inherited and 50% of each generation develops the disease. There are no other known risk factors for HD.
Multiple SclerosisExpand +
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is neither directly inherited nor contagious. There are clusters of MS cases in certain areas of the world. Factors related to these clusters include gender, genetics, age, geography and ethnicity. Observations about MS:
- MS is significantly more common in women than in men
- MS crosses all ethnic groups, but is more common in Caucasians of northern European ancestry
- MS is more common in northern latitudes and exposure to vitamin D in sunlight may offer some protective effect
Parkinson's DiseaseExpand +
Advancing age is the single greatest risk factor for Parkinson's disease. Other factors:
- Men have a slightly higher risk than women
- Family history: individuals with an affected first-degree relative have approximately double the risk
At the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, we're deeply committed to helping people live longer, healthier lives. This commitment includes our patient care, clinical trials, and Brain Health Initiative. We provide resources that help people maintain brain health and reduce their risk for brain disorders.
For more information
By donating to Keep Memory Alive, you can support Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health's work and help us spread the word about brain health.