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New Alzheimer's risk factors revealed

9th July 2007

Adults showing signs of either atrophy to the temporal lobe of the brain or damaged brain blood vessels have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

A new study which uncovered these risk factors carried out MRI scans on participants to examine poor brain circulation, damaged blood vessels and atrophy.

Participants showing a combination of these were found to have a greater risk of falling victim to Alzheimer's.

Caterina Rosano, the study author, said: "Alzheimer's disease, a highly debilitating and ultimately fatal neurological disease, is already associated with other risk factors such as poor cognitive scores, education and health conditions.

"This study, because it focused on healthy, cognitively normal adults, shows that there are other risk factors we need to consider."

In relation to the potential gains of the study, Ms Rosano said: "Similarly to heart disease, brain blood vessel damage is more likely to occur in patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

"Since we know that prevention of these conditions can lower risk of heart attack and stroke, it is likely that it would also lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's."