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Medical Study Finds 15 Factors That ‘Significantly’ Increase Risk Of Dementia In Young People

  A recently released   medical study   from researchers from Maastricht University and the University of Exeter discovered more than a doze...

 A recently released medical study from researchers from Maastricht University and the University of Exeter discovered more than a dozen factors that experts say are strongly linked to young-onset dementia (YOD).

The study was published in JAMA Neurology late last month after researchers analyzed more than 356,052 participants in the U.K. Biobank as an estimated 4 million people worldwide between ages 30 and 64 are living with YOD.

The 15 factors researchers discovered that were “significantly associated” with a higher risk of developing YOD included:

  • Lower formal education
  • Lower socioeconomic status
  • Carrying 2 apolipoprotein ε4 allele, which is considered to be the strongest genetic risk factor for late onset Alzheimer’s disease.
  • No alcohol use
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Social isolation
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • High C-reactive protein levels
  • Lower handgrip strength
  • Hearing impairment
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Depression.

Lead study author Stevie Hendriks, a postdoctoral researcher in psychiatry and neuropsychology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, told CNN that the findings “changes our understanding of young-onset dementia, challenging the notion that genetics are the sole cause of the condition and highlighting that a range of risk factors may be important.”

“In addition to physical factors, mental health also plays an important role, including avoiding chronic stress, loneliness and depression,” he added. “The fact that this is also evident in young-onset dementia came as a surprise to us, and it may offer opportunities to reduce risk in this group too.”


Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of research at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Florida, told CNN that he believes people have the ability to “fight against early onset cognitive decline.”

“My clinical experience much more closely aligns with results of this new study — that it truly may be possible to grab the bull by the horns, and be proactive about certain lifestyle and other health factors, to reduce risk,” he said.

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