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Three weird factors that increase your Alzheimer's disease risk

by , 01 November 2017
Three weird factors that increase your Alzheimer's disease risk
Science suggests that healthy habits promote brain health and may even reduce the build-up of proteins related to Alzheimer's disease. We're talking habits like exercising regularly, eating a nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy weight.

On the other hand, there are a number of factors that can increase your risk for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Some risk factors are obvious, such as age and genetics. Others are less so, such as the three below.

Three Alzheimer’s disease risk factors that might surprise you

#1: You struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep
We’re all familiar with how a restless night’s sleep can lead to brain fog the following day. However, studies also suggest that poor sleep over time is associated with a build-up of amyloid proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease. According to scientists, while exercising helps loosen up amyloid proteins, quality sleep is required to actually dispose of them. In other words, sleep is critical for taking out the trash keeping your brain young.


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#2: You live in an area with high levels of air pollution
A 2017 study found that older women who live in areas with high levels of air pollution are 92% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than women living in climates with clear air. The scientists found that the association was strongest in women who had the APOE4 gene, a genetic variation that boosts risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
#3: You have trouble identifying familiar smells
According to a study published in Annals of Neurology in 2016, how well a person can recognise familiar odours can be a handy clue to predicting the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that people who struggled to recognise scents like menthol, strawberry, lemon and clove seemed to have an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Which of these three Alzheimer’s disease risk factors surprised you the most? 

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Three weird factors that increase your Alzheimer's disease risk
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