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There is no single cause of dementia. Rather, a combination of multiple factors is associated with the development of dementia. Family history and lifestyle factors, such as exercise patterns, dietary habits, and stress levels, are examples of risk factors that may contribute to the onset of dementia.
Risk factors are characteristics which increase the likelihood of developing a disease. Their presence does not guarantee the development of the disease in question. For example, not everyone who smokes develops heart disease and not everyone with heart disease has been a smoker. However, a person who smokes is more likely to develop heart disease.

Some risk factors can be modified. For example, being physically active reduces the risk of developing dementia. Other risk factors cannot be modified, however. Non-modifiable risk factors include age, genetics, gender, and ethnicity.

Some content is reproduced with permission from Alzheimer’s Disease International’s article on Risk Factors and Risk Reduction.

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  1. Livingston, G., Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., Brayne, C., Burns, A., Cohen-Mansfield, J., Cooper, C., Costafreda, S. G., Dias, A., Fox, N., Gitlin, L. N., Howard, R., Kales, H. C., Kivimäki, M., Larson, E. N., Ogunniyi, A., Ortega, V., Ritchie, K., Rockwood, K., Sampson, E. L., Samus, Q., Schneider, L. S., Selbæk, G., Teri, L., Mukadam, N. (2020). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet Commissions, 396(10248), 413-446. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30367-6

Downloadable Resources

The following resources contain bite-sized information that you may download and/ or print: 
Click on the images below to download in English or select another language.

Was this article helpful?

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Downloadable Resources

The following resources contain bite-sized information on The ABCDs of Dementia Progression that you may download and/ or print: 
Click on the images below to download in English.

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