In this review we present and discuss the main risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD) reported by epidemiological, genetic and biochemical studies.
The most frequently mentioned factors are: 1. Age. It is the principal marker for the disease risk; 2. Sex. It is estimated that the prevalence of AD is higher in women than in men; 3. Genetics. Although the genetic role has been demonstrated, there is an important genetic heterogeneity; 4. Tobacco. Various studies have found a protective effect, however this effect could be attributed to survival bias; 5. Alcohol. The regular consumption of alcohol was associated with reduced incidence of AD, especially with wine consumption; 6. Family history of dementia. Nearly 40% of persons with AD have family history of dementia; 7. Non steroidal antiinflammatories (NSAIDs). The use of NSAIDS could help in reducing the symptoms of the disease or even avoid them; 8. Craneoencephalic trauma. The role of the craneoencephalic trauma is controversial; 9. Education. The increase of AD in low education persons was published; 10. Diet. The consumption of antioxidants in diet o in supplementary forms appears to be neuroprotector.
The grand variety of published epidemiological studies with different methodology makes it difficult to find homogeneous results. This leaves us controversial impressions about how to prevent the disease.