PTSD and Dementia Are Linked Say Experts. Here Are 4 Other Unusual Risk Factors for Developing Alzheimer’s

PTSD and Dementia Are Linked Say Experts. Here Are 4 Other Unusual Risk Factors for Developing Alzheimer’s

Being predisposed to getting Alzheimer’s disease could come down to a mix of genetic factors and things like not getting enough sleep.

A study out of the University Medical Center Göttingen in Germany has found that people who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have some other bad news to face. They’re statistically more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Sadly, it has to do with the way their genes have been activated due to experiencing trauma.

It’s not a guarantee that those who suffer from PTSD are going to develop dementia later on, but it’s now on the list of contributing elements.

What other conditions in life can push you towards developing Alzheimer’s? Here are 4 unusual risk factors:

1) Loneliness

If you’re feeling like you’re the only one around, you may be more likely to develop dementia. Researchers aren’t really sure if being lonely leads to developing dementia, or if people start to develop the disease and then feel socially isolated, but the two are linked.

Related: How to Talk to Someone Who Has Alzheimer’s

A study published in 2016 in JAMA Psychiatry holds the evidence. Seniors who had Alzheimer’s developing in their brain scans were over 7 times more likely to say they were lonely.

2) Air Pollution

Suffering from PTSD, not getting enough sleep and living with air pollution can all contribute towards Alzheimer's.

If you’re an older woman, you should probably move to the countryside and take a deep breath of clean air.

A study put out this year found that aging females living in areas with high levels of pollution were over 90% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those living in areas with cleaner air.

Related: We Love Them but Here Are 4 Sports That Could Give You Dementia

It’s not guaranteed that you’ll develop Alzheimer’s if you live in a bustling city. Your exposure to tiny particles that can settle in your lungs trigger inflammation in your body though, goes up.

If you hold genes that make you predisposed to develop dementia, this can be bad news.

3) Your Eating Habits

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is key. When you eat is also an important thing to consider, experts say. A good rule of thumb is to eat an early dinner, around 5 p.m for example, and to make sure you don’t eat anything else until it’s time for breakfast. This triggers your body to burn something else besides carbs to get through the night, which is more efficient and better for your brain.

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4) Not Getting Enough Sleep

Suffering from PTSD, not getting enough sleep and living with air pollution can all contribute towards Alzheimer's.

Not getting enough sleep is known to have many health consequences, the worst of which is that it makes it harder for your brain to ‘clean’ itself. When you sleep, the brain discards proteins in it. Exercise can help to loosen them, but a good night of solid shut-eye is needed to get the proteins out of your system.

If you’re consistently missing out on proper rest, the proteins can build up leading to a greater chance for dementia to set in.

Photo Credits: Hcommunications/Bigstock; ssuaphoto/Bigstock; Wavebreak Media Ltd/Bigstock

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