Result card

  • CUR2: What are the known risk factors for the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)?

What are the known risk factors for the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)?

Authors: Antonio Migliore, Tapani Keranen, Sinikka Sihvo

Internal reviewers: Kristian Lampe

The most important risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is age {43}. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer's, which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s. Many of the risk factors for cognitive impartment, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are similar as the cardiovascular disease risk factors: Smoking, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and overweight {75}. Midlife diabetes is associated with elevated risk {43} {75}. Some of the risk factors are modifiable through life style changes or with medical treatment.  Risk factors that cannot be modified include family history of dementia, genetic factors (APOE ԑ4), traumatic brain injuries and male sex. Other factors proposed to be related to increased AD risk include: low educational level, lack of cognitive activities, loneliness and lack of social networks, depression, low physical activity and heavy drinking {15} {43} {75}. Risk scores have been developed to predict risk of dementia {43}. It is not clear to what extent risk factors for clinically diagnosed AD increase the risk of developing neuropathological changes in AD or how comorbid conditions increase the risk of onset and progression of AD {75}. The role of modifiable life styles is also putative since the quantification of lifestyle factors varies largely in terms of intensity, frequency and duration of exposure.

The possible risk factors for minor cognitive impairment are partly the same as for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, such as age, hypertension and ApoE ԑ4 {48}. Many other risk factors of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have so far failed to show significant effect on MCI risk, such as gender, cardiovascular diseases, serum total cholesterol, cerebrovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, smoking, psychiatric illness {48}.

Migliore A et al. Result Card CUR2 In: Migliore A et al. Health Problem and Current Use of the Technology In: Jefferson T, Cerbo M, Vicari N [eds.]. Use of Intravenous immunoglobulins for Alzeheimer’s disease including Mild Cognitive Impairment [Core HTA], Agenas - Agenzia nazionale per i servizi sanitari regionali ; 2015. [cited 30 June 2022]. Available from: