New studies seek causes of early onset dementia

An online JAMA Internal Medicine study published Monday, 8/12/13 looked at 2 new studies that utilize the population base of approx 500,000 Swedish men from their late teens to middle age to discern possible triggers of early-onset Alzheimer’s (prior to age 65).  Researchers found that patients with high systolic blood pressure, low cognitive function and short stature in late adolescence were significantly more likely to develop early onset dementia.  Other factors included paternal dementia, occurrence of alcohol or other drug intoxication, stroke, antipsychotic meds and depression.  Young men with at least 2 of these risk factors and who ranked in the lowest one-third in terms of cognitive function had a 20 fold greater likelihood than average to develop early onset dementia.  Hypertension in midlife has been associated with later dementia but now high blood pressure in adolescence may be another risk factor to early onset dementia.

Taken from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Wed 8/14/13