Sean McFadden says there’s a wide variety of risk factors that increase your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“If you have a family tree with a lot of dementia within the family tree, whether there’s a genetic form of Alzheimer’s, that could be part of the picture, but that’s a very small portion of the population,” says McFadden, a representative with the Alzheimer’s Society of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville.
Smoking, drinking and having high blood pressure can also increase your chance of developing the disease, he says.
In terms of early warning signs, McFadden says the first thing to look out for is short-term memory loss.
“If a person doesn’t remember what they had for lunch, what they did yesterday, that can lead into not recognizing people and places as things progress,” he explains. “You might have a person that misplaces items, they’ll forget where they put the house keys or where items in the home go.”
The Alzheimer’s Society of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville is a charity that offers support and education for local people suffering from the disease and their families.
You can find more information about the disease and the organization on its website.