Preserve Your Cognitive Health by Understanding the Risk Factors of Alzheimer’s Disease

We all experience lapses in memory now and then, especially as we age. For most of us, these minor cognitive issues are usually just annoyances.

It is forecasted that the UAE will see an increase of 1,795 per cent with people suffering from dementia by 2050, while other Gulf countries, such as Qatar and Bahrain, will also see a very high increase in dementia cases of 1,926 percent and 1,084 per cent, respectively.

But if your cognitive issues interfere with your daily life, they could be the beginning of something much more serious.

Read on to learn more about the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and how you can preserve your cognitive health.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that impacts a person’s ability to think, reason, and remember.

As it progresses, Alzheimer’s can severely affect quality of life, eventually becoming completely debilitating. 

The most common type of Alzheimer’s disease is the late-onset form, when symptoms usually become more evident in [a person’s] 6th decade of life.”

The 10 Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease:

Alzheimers Disease

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, ten early warning signs of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease include:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  8. Decreased or poor judgment
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood and personality

If you experience a cognitive problem that impacts your daily life, don’t ignore it.

Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can take action against cognitive decline.

What Are Some Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease?

There’s still a lot we don’t know about how Alzheimer’s disease develops or why some people are at greater risk of developing it than others. It’s an active area of study, and researchers are discovering new things every day. 

The consensus among scientists is that a combination of age, sex, genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the greatest risk factors for Alzheimer’s: 

  • Prevalence studies demonstrated that dementia is indeed a prevalent condition in Arab countries, ranging between 1.1% and 2.3% among age groups of 50 years and older, as well as between 13.5% and 18.5% among age groups of 80 years and above. 
  • “There are more women with Alzheimer’s disease than men,” though this might be because women live longer than men. 
  • Exposure to environmental pollutants has been linked to an increased risk of dementia. Researchers note “half of individual differences in Alzheimer’s disease risk may be environmental.”
  • Studies discovered a “significantly increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease with current smoking.” This risk factor offers another compelling reason to quit.

2 Protein Structures in the Brain Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientists typically focus on two different protein structures in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease: Neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques. 

It’s not currently known whether the presence of these structures causes Alzheimer’s disease or if they’re simply byproducts of it. But both can impair cognitive function and can worsen as the disease progresses.

Neurofibrillary Tangles 

Neurofibrillary tangles are accumulations of a harmful protein called tau in the brain’s neurons. These tangles can inhibit the neurons’ ability to communicate, causing cognitive decline. Some studies reveal hypoxia is associated with neurofibrillary tangles.

Amyloid Plaques

Amyloid plaques are hard, insoluble clumps of beta-amyloid proteins that build up between neurons. Like neurofibrillary tangles, these plaques are toxic to brain cells and disrupt cell-to-cell communication. They can eventually result in cellular death, harming cognitive abilities even further.

New imaging technologies can reveal the presence of both protein structures, so your doctor can alert you to the presence of Alzheimer’s disease or if you’re at risk for developing it.

Is Alzheimer’s Genetic?

Both early-onset and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease have a genetic component, meaning if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s, you carry a greater risk factor for developing the disease compared to someone who doesn’t have that history.

The risk factor is greater if an immediate family member suffers from the disease, such as a parent or sibling. 

Genetics are almost always the primary contributing factor of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which can “affect people in their 30s or 40s.” 

Gene Mutations

Researchers have yet to identify any specific genes responsible for the development of late-onset Alzheimer’s.

However, certain mutations of the  APOE gene, which are found in chromosome 19, “[remain] the strongest, genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.”

For example, the specific gene mutation APOE ε4 is linked to higher levels of amyloid plaques and is often found in people with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Your doctor may order genetic testing if you have a family history of cognitive problems or early-onset dementia. 

Remember, this doesn’t mean you’re destined to develop Alzheimer’s if a parent or sibling has had it. Some people who possess the APOE ε4 gene never develop Alzheimer’s disease, and some people with Alzheimer’s don’t have any gene mutations at all. 

Genetics is just one of many Alzheimer’s risk factors — we still need more research to get the complete picture of what the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is.


How Can I Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?


A specific hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) protocol shows promise as a potential preventative measure for biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease.

HBOT is a therapy that involves breathing 100% oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure.

  • Recent research illustrates a unique HBOT protocol can shrink existing amyloid plaques in the brain and even prevent new ones from forming altogether (in animal models): Repeated sessions of HBOT showed “reduced hypoxia and neuroinflammation, reduction in beta-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and phosphorylated tau, and improvement in behavioral tasks.”
  • Another study revealed HBOT improved memory recall in people who exhibited mild cognitive impairment:  “HBOT should be considered as a therapeutic approach to slow the progression or even improve the pathophysiology responsible for [Alzheimer’s] disease.”

These studies offer hope that HBOT may become a viable treatment method for preventing cognitive decline.

A treatment based on this protocol is now available only at Aviv Clinics Dubai brought to you by DP World>>

Lifestyle Habits to Safeguard Cognitive Health

While none of us can change our genetic makeup, we can change our lifestyle. Healthy habits can help lower your risk factor for nearly any disease, not just cognitive-related conditions. Lowering inflammation levels in your body can also help lower inflammation in the brain. Some of the things you can do to preserve your cognitive health include:

  • Eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining healthy blood pressure
  • Keeping your mind active
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation
  • Avoiding excess alcohol
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Getting plenty of restful sleep
  • Taking care of your mental health
  • Reducing stress

The Aviv Medical Program’s Fight Against Cognitive Decline

The Aviv Medical Program was founded on the unique Hyperbaric Oxygen protocol discussed in earlier research studies.

This protocol involves fluctuating oxygen levels during the HBOT sessions. Oxygen level variations trigger the body’s self-healing process

Cognitive Performance and Aging Program

The Aviv Medical Program offers a comprehensive cognitive performance and aging program. Our treatments are rooted in research and lean on a holistic and personalized approach. 

Depending on your symptoms, needs, and goals, the program can include the following: 

  • In-depth medical history review
  • Comprehensive physical and neurological exam
  • Physical therapy evaluation
  • Highly advanced brain imaging scans
  • Neurocognitive tests

During the treatment, the program can include a combination of the following:

  • Unique hyperbaric oxygen therapy session
  • Cognitive training
  • Physical training
  • Dietary coaching

Carl & Vickie Eckert Praise Their Improved Cognitive Performance as “Remarkable” – Watch their story:

Married couple Carl and Vickie both had parents with dementia and cognitive decline. They soon realized they were experiencing the same cognitive issues that manifested in their parents. 

The couple’s quality of life was not where it should have been, so they took action with the Aviv Medical Program. They call their experience with Aviv Clinics and improved cognitive performance “remarkable.” 

“This is a very viable option…knowing that I was going to have such a complete assessment only for me and my issues was just remarkable. I’m dancing, I’m hiking, I’m running again. It’s just remarkable. I don’t know how else to say it.” Vickie Eckert, former Aviv client

Lower Your Risk with Aviv Clinics Dubai

While we still have a lot to learn about the risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease, anyone can lower their likelihood by taking charge of their lifestyle. 

Preserving your cognitive health starts with the choices you make every day. Partnering with Aviv Clinics Dubai brought to you by DP Worlds is just one of them. 

Contact our medical team to learn how we can help you.

Does High Blood Pressure Cause Memory Loss?

We all know that high blood pressure can cause a host of other health issues, although most of us are unaware that high blood pressure can cause memory loss. Cognitive decline is a side effect that isn’t always discussed. But having high blood pressure can directly affect your cognitive function, causing problems like brain fog and forgetfulness, as well as severe cognitive issues like vascular dementia. 

Nearly one in three Americans and two-thirds of adults age 60 and older have high blood pressure, making it one of the most notorious killers in the United States. Fortunately, there are actionable steps you can take to manage your blood pressure, no matter your age. 

Treatment options, such as the research-based hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) protocol available at Aviv Clinics, target associated health challenges like post-stroke, and age-related cognitive decline. Keep reading to learn more about how high blood pressure can cause memory loss, plus what you can do.

What Is High Blood Pressure?

Also called hypertension, high blood pressure occurs when the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is too high. 

Every blood vessel in your body requires a certain amount of pressure to stay intact. High blood pressure may damage arteries, making them less elastic. Lower elasticity slows blood and oxygen flow to vital areas of the body. Health problems happen when your blood pressure wanders outside the acceptable range. 

The higher your blood pressure, the greater your risk for health problems like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. It also increases your risk of cognitive problems later in life.

What’s An Acceptable Blood Pressure?

Normal blood pressure levels differ for every person and depend on age, weight, and other factors. According to the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association

  • Stage 1 hypertension occurs at 130/80 mm Hg 
  • Stage 2 hypertension occurs at or above 140/90 mm

High blood pressure is unique because it doesn’t present symptoms on its own. The only way most people even discover that their blood pressure is high is when something more serious happens, like a clot. The best way to learn whether your blood pressure is at a healthy level is to measure it with a blood pressure machine at a doctor’s office, pharmacy, or on a home blood pressure machine.

Tip: A home blood pressure device is a worthwhile investment to monitor your health. Take your measurements at the same time every day for consistency, as your blood pressure will naturally rise and fall during the day.

How Exactly Does High Blood Pressure Impact Memory Loss?

The brain receives roughly 20–25% of the body’s blood supply. When high blood pressure causes the supply to decline, the brain lacks the nutrition needed to perform at optimal levels. 

High blood pressure can also harm the tiny arteries that feed “white matter,” or the wire-like cells that transfer information to different brain areas. These issues may manifest with memory problems, confusion, lack of concentration, and other side effects.

Research Studies 

Age-related cognitive decline studies show having high blood pressure during midlife can affect cognition later in life. We’ll let these research studies help clear the fog on the link between the brain and blood pressure

  • In this study, men at an average age of 78 years logged their blood pressure. After adjusting for biases like prior education and age, the men who performed the most poorly on the test were those who had experienced high blood pressure in middle age. This suggests a direct connection between hypertension and cognitive decline later in life.
  • More recent studies have helped to reaffirm the connection between hypertension and cognitive decline. Researchers found mental processing speed and executive function were the top two cognitive skills most affected later in life. 

Vascular Dementia 

High blood pressure directly increases the risk of developing vascular dementia—a type of dementia caused by blood flow problems in the brain from strained blood vessels. The strain on the blood vessels makes it difficult for the brain to get the oxygen needed to function correctly.

Fortunately, vascular dementia symptoms can be improved through hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), such as the type available at Aviv Clinics in central Florida. HBOT works by delivering oxygen directly to the brain in a pressurized environment. The direct supply of oxygen allows the damaged blood vessels in your brain to heal, helping you regain some cognitive functions.

How Can You Manage High Blood Pressure?

While medication is often the first thing people think of, investing in your health via lifestyle choices and research-backed therapies is really the best medicine for managing high blood pressure.

The absolute best things you can do for your high blood pressure and brain health are the following:

  1. Eat a clean diet of whole foods to promote your gut health
  2. Exercise to help maintain or manage your weight.
  3. Get enough sleep by establishing a bedtime routine, working up a sweat, and turning off the TV.
  4. Engage your mind by gardening, reading, or even playing a video game with your kids or grandkids.
  5. Reduce and manage your stress levels with activities like yoga or meditation. Practicing mindfulness meditation can help you stay grounded in the present moment and reduce stress.
  6. Seek unique and comprehensive therapies, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Research-backed HBOT programs, such as the one offered as part of the Aviv Medical Program, encourage damaged vessels to heal and cognitive functions to improve. 

Aviv’s unique protocol may include HBOT, along with cognitive training, dietary coaching, and physical performance training. This holistic approach has been key to restoring our patients’ optimal health.

Find Hope and Healing with Aviv

While high blood pressure is dangerous, especially later in life, it is possible to manage it. It’s never too late to start, even after a cognitive decline diagnosis

If you’d like more guidance, reach out to the Aviv Clinics team