Modifiable Risk Factors in Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias: A Review

Rachel Litke, Lorena Cancino Garcharna, Salima Jiwani, Judith Neugroschl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: Although Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRDs) have long been considered nonpreventable and even an inevitable consequence of aging, recent findings from longitudinal studies indicate a downtrend in age-adjusted incidence and prevalence of ADRDs in Western countries. This remarkable trend might be the result of improved management of so-called modifiable risk factors. The aim of this review is to present evidence of modifiable factors of ADRDs in a life-course approach. Methods: A PubMed database search was conducted between November and December 2020 to identify relevant studies evaluating the role of modifiable risk factors in the development of ADRDs. Key words (Alzheimer's disease and modifiable risk factors) were used and specific inclusion and exclusion criteria applied. Findings: This review identifies modifiable factors for ADRDs divided into early-life, middle-life, and late-life risk factors, depending on the available window of preventive action. According to life course exposure, factors can be protective or deleterious for ADRDs that participate in the underlying pathophysiologic complexity of these diseases as well as the complexity for public health measures implementations. Implications: The available evidence derived from epidemiologic, preclinical, interventional studies suggest that modifiable risk factors for ADRDs offer opportunities for therapeutic and preventive actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-965
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Alzheimer disease and related dementias
  • aging
  • environmental factors
  • metabolic syndrome
  • prevention
  • vascular disease


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