Causes and Risk Factors

A healthy brain has a countless number of nerve cells, which use nerve conductors to communicate, wherein acetylcholine plays a key role in learning and memory.

Dementia patients will experience the following pathological changes in their brains:
  • Bad amyloid accumulates between neurons to form amyloid plaques.
  • The abnormalities in the protein (Tau) in nerve cells cause neurofibrillary tangles, which in turn leads to the death of nerve cells and degeneration of brain structure.
The picture shows atrophy of various parts of the brain in patients with Alzheimer's disease, including the cerebral cortex, ventricle, language area and memory area

Who have high risk of dementia?

Dementia can occur to anyone, but people with the following risk factors may have a higher chance of dementia onset:

  • Increasing age
  • Family history of dementia
  • Cardiovascular diseases (such as high blood pressure and high blood lipids)
  • Diabetes
  • History of brain injury
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
Source:律敦治及鄧肇堅醫院 - 認知障礙症照顧者手冊

 

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Last Update: 29/9/2022