Researchers are starting to better understand the brain damage caused by the disease, which brings hope that new scientific breakthroughs will occur in the near future. However, the cause of this disease remains a mystery. It is in fact believed that several factors are at play. One of the certainties seems to be that heredity increases the risk of developing the disease. While in 90 to 95% of cases we remain unfamiliar with the role heredity plays in Alzheimer’s progression, it has been shown that the risks of developing this disease increase when a parent is affected.
Identified risk factors include:
- Age. The older a person gets, the higher the risk
- Down syndrom (Trisomy 21)
- An old head injury
- Gender. Women are more at-risk the men
- Vascular disease
- Tobacco use
To better understand the progression of the disease, it is often divided in three stages: early (or mild), mid (or moderate), and severe (or late).