May 4, 2009 -- Question: What are the common risk factors for Alzheimer's disease?
Answer: There are three very well-described risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. The first is family history. If you have a parent or a brother or sister with Alzheimer's, your own personal risk is roughly doubled. There are also genetic factors, some of which we can test for, some of which we can't, that increase the risk for Alzheimer's.
Finally, having suffered a significant head injury can also increase the risk for Alzheimer's.
If, however, you have both the genetic risk factor and the head injury, risk can go up by as much as tenfold.