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Risk Factors for Alzheimer's Disease: An Overview for Clinical Practitioners

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Objective: To review current information on various risk factors of Alzheimer's disease (AD) for clinicians so that they may educate patients or their families in a clinical setting.

Data Sources: Published medical literature and research articles from MEDLINE.

Study Selection: Reviews and articles from 1985 to 2003 concerning risk factors associated with AD.

Data Extraction: Data on risk factors ranging from possible or controversial to well established.

Data Synthesis: AD is an irreversible, progressive neurodegenerative disorder. AD is currently known to be the most common cause of dementia in the United States. Over the last several decades, different levels of risk factors associated with AD have been identified. With more information available to the public via various resources, there is greater need for clinical practitioners to provide up-to-date information on risk factors in a meaningful way. This article discusses advanced age, family history, gender, low education, apolipoprotein E e4, head injury, cardiovascular conditions, and aluminum.

Conclusion: Since there currently is no cure or preventive measure for AD, it is important to educate patients and their families about risk factors of AD in clinical practice.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Clinicians; Risk factors

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-03-01

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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