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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2009;11(2):111-28.

Epidemiology of Alzheimer's disease: occurrence, determinants, and strategies toward intervention.

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Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet-Stockholm, Sweden.


More than 25 million people in the world today are affected by dementia, most suffering from Alzheimer's disease. In both developed and developing nations, Alzheimer's disease has had tremendous impact on the affected individuals, caregivers, and society. The etiological factors, other than older age and genetic susceptibility, remain to be determined. Nevertheless, increasing evidence strongly points to the potential risk roles of vascular risk factors and disorders (eg, cigarette smoking, midlife high blood pressure and obesity, diabetes, and cerebrovascular lesions) and the possible beneficial roles of psychosocial factors (eg, high education, active social engagement, physical exercise, and mentally stimulating activity) in the pathogenetic process and clinical manifestation of the dementing disorders. The long-term multidomain interventions toward the optimal control of multiple vascular risk factors and the maintenance of socially integrated lifestyles and mentally stimulating activities are expected to reduce the risk or postpone the clinical onset of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

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