Modifiable risk factors for dementia

Dementia (Alzheimer’s disease, vascular and other dementias) is a huge Macroeconomic issue. People with dementia can live for years in a disabled condition, requiring very expensive care that must be provided by the government, their own or family financial resources or by unpaid caregivers who themselves become very stressed and often unable to hold a paid job. As the global population of older adults continues to rise, the number of people living with dementia is also expected to grow, reaching approximately 139 million dementia cases by the year 2050.

Recent research shows that many risk factors for dementia can be modified decades in advance, reducing the risk of dementia. Most of these involve removing harmful factors such as smoking and alcohol. Most are free, such as socializing, modifying diet to reduce the risk of diabetes, getting enough sleep and exercise. The only expensive item is buying hearing aids to mitigate hearing loss.

Dementia cases are on the rise — avoid these 12 risks to keep your brain healthy

by Ernestine Siu,, Tue, May 7 2024

While age is still the strongest known risk factor for dementia, researchers have found a set of 12 “potentially modifiable risk factors,” according to The Lancet Commission’s 2020 report:

  • Less education

  • Hypertension

  • Hearing impairment

  • Smoking

  • Obesity

  • Depression

  • Physical inactivity

  • Diabetes

  • Low social contact

  • Excessive alcohol consumption

  • Traumatic brain injury

  • Air pollution

    Here are five key “protective factors” or things people can do to help prevent the onset of dementia. What’s good for your heart is good for your brain because there are a lot of vascular risk factors for dementia. Needless to say, protecting your heart is also a wise thing to do.

    Regular physical activity
    Eating healthy
    Building a healthy support network
    Having good sleep hygiene
    Find ways to regulate stress and emotions [end quote]

And buy hearing aids if you have hearing loss. A recent federal law has made lower-cost generic hearing aids available (from Bose and other manufacturers). The lowest-cost personalized hearing aids are from Costco ($1,500 per pair, I bought a pair for myself and also my sister).

Early this week, a study showed that people with two copies of the gene variant APOE4 are almost certain to get Alzheimer’s disease.

However, previous research has shown that exercise is a non-pharmacological treatment option for high-risk APOE ε4 carriers to ameliorate the AD pathological processes including reducing Aβ load, protecting against hippocampal atrophy, improving cognitive function, stabilizing cholesterol levels and lowering pro-inflammatory signals. Exercise seems to be effective in delaying the onset of AD and may improve the quality of life of AD patients. This information should be widely publicized since AD takes decades to develop symptoms and people can begin exercise programs early in life.

The good news is that there are many cost-free ways to reduce the risk of dementia even in people with the high-risk APOE ε4 gene. The bad news is that Americans are notoriously unwilling to take personal action that requires effort and self-control. At this time there is no pill to prevent or tread AD.



If you don’t mind, which ones did you order? And do you like them?

I ordered the Philips on 5/1 but won’t get them until 5/25 (my old ones broke after 8 or 9 years). I tested a couple of different ones but the Philips were the only ones that passed the “behind” test. I stood behind my Ms. Wolf and asked her to talk normally. I heard every word (oy, am I in trouble now! No more hearing aid isn’t working excuse). I also heard many more higher frequency sounds than the others.


The Rexton BiCore C R-Li T bundle from Costco includes 2 hearing aids and 2 chargers.

I got them because the hearing specialist recommended them. I use the second charger which has its own battery and can be unplugged and taken on the road. It has a cover that closes to keep out dust (and dog fur).

The hearing aids have a loop of monofilament that nestles into the outer ear. This helps keep the conical ear microphone in place if it pops out (which it does occasionally).

I found it fascinating to learn that different word sounds have different frequencies even if the speaker is talking in a level tone of voice. My hearing loss is worse at frequencies above 2000 Hz and really drops off at 4000 - 8000 Hz. This means the sounds of f, s and th are dropped out of spoken words. I have moderate hearing loss so sh is also affected. This is why we can hear people speak but often can’t understand the words.

My sister has toddler-age grandchildren so it’s essential for her to understand the higher-pitched children’s voices. That’s why I bought her the hearing aids. Teaching the children to speak at this critical age is essential.

When I was younger I could hear ultrasonic welders in factories (10,000 Hz). No more.

Do I like my hearing aids? They are light and seem to work but the sound is tinny. I guess there are a lot of extraneous high-frequency sounds that I’m not used to hearing anymore.

I don’t know whether this brand works better than others since I didn’t test alternates. I like the fact that Costco will clean and adjust the hearing aids for free since I have needed to do this twice.

I hope you enjoy your conversations with Ms. Wolf. :slight_smile:


This test can not be taken on a cellphone because the phone will not produce the proper noise or frequency levels.

On a desktop I am still hearing about 15000 Hz. I do not know if this matters but I tune in at about 60 Hz.

1 Like

Ha! I have an appointment at Costco today to look at new hearing aids. I am told I have progressed to the point where I need them in both ears; to this point I have had only one, but I’m losing the upper frequencies in both (and generally everything in the left.)

But this thread was about dementia, so I provide you with Dr. Goofy’s Almost Guaranteed To Keep You Alert solution, available at any grocery story or finer oils shop:

Gift article. I’m out of wrapping paper & ribbons, so just tear into it.


I put on my noise canceling headphones and ran the test a few times. My range was consistently in the 25 Hz - 14,500 Hz range.

1 Like

One SIL shared that article with the family text group the other day. The other SIL who has bad triglycerides numbers said that if she used more olive oil she wouldn’t die of dementia because her heart would get her first.

If I turn the volume up my range drops down a bit into the 40 Hz area. It is dull noise which I was not expecting.

The observational study found an association between the consumption of olive oil and a comparatively lower risk of dying from dementia. The researchers did not find a causal relationship.

Or maybe the olive oil killed them sooner so that they died from something more mundane instead of living long enough to succumb to the actual dementia?

The study found that consuming at least a half tablespoon of olive oil every day was associated with a 28 percent lower risk of dying from dementia,

Does anyone who wants to be taken seriously believe that 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil will affect anything (except maybe that crostini
you’re eating?)

Olive oil “may directly benefit the brain by crossing the blood-brain barrier” and may indirectly support the brain by having positive effects on a person’s heart health as well,

Hate to tell the Doc but if olive oil gets inside your brain you’ll die. Same if Metamucil courses through your arteries sweeping out cholesterol like they show on TV. You’ll die. Heart health? Well, according to the label 1 Tblsp of olive oil has 100% more saturated fat than a egg. So…? I’ll let them work on that. And don’t say *Yeah, but it has all that good stuff in it and that’s what counts. * HA! 1960s’s joke. “Large” guy goes into restaurant and orders double cheese burgers, milk shake, large fries…and a side salad. 'Cause he’s on a diet.

Either medicos doe not know how to express themselves. Don’t know how to run a study. Or another case of ignorant and lazy or perhaps earnest but hapless journalism.

1 Like

More nonsense by the hype and hysteria machine, we call the “news”. Study was probably paid for by the olive oil producer’s association. I saw that piece too. Right along with a string of “reports” on a new roller coaster at Cedar Point, and a bakery reopening in Detroit.


@FCorelli …1tbs olive oil 100% more sat fat than an egg? I think you’re mistaken …depending on the size of the egg, of course. Even so, it still wouldn’t be a great amount as a % of RDA.

1 Like

Here’s the key phrase from the article: “olive oil, when used in the Mediterranean diet…”

Well, guess what? People who eat a Mediterranean diet are NOT eating the unhealthy western diet! And olive oil is a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet. So it’s ridiculous to say that the effect is due to the olive oil alone.



The problem might be omega 6 versus omega 3. Olive oil is mostly omega 6. The rest of our diets are also bulking up on omega 6. We have major problems with that.

They were certainly aware of that. FWIW, the paper does say

“In 2 large US prospective cohorts of men and women, we found that participants who consumed more than 7 g/d of olive oil had 28% lower risk of dying from dementia compared with participants who never or rarely consumed olive oil. This association remained significant after adjustment for diet quality scores including adherence to the Mediterranean diet.”

Interestingly, the effect seems to have a gender bias.
“The association was significant in both sexes but did not remain in men after full adjustment of the model.”



Funding/Support: This study is supported by the research grant R21 AG070375 from the National Institutes of Health to Dr Guasch-Ferré. The NHS, NHSII and HPFS are supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (UM1 CA186107, P01 CA87969, U01 CA167552, P30 DK046200, HL034594, HL088521, HL35464, HL60712). Dr Tessier is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. Dr Guasch-Ferré is supported the Novo Nordisk Foundation grant NNF23SA0084103.”



The local “news” did not say any of that. All the “news” showed was someone pouring a tablespoon of olive oil out of the bottle, leaving the impression people are supposed to down a tablespoon of the stuff every day.


The writing could have been less sloppy but when they talked about crossing the blood brain barrier they were obviously referring to the polyphenols, not the olive oil in its original state prior to consumption. There is a large body of pre clinical evidence showing a correlation between olive oil consumption and reduced cognitive decline and a growing body of evidence from clinical Studies. Skepticism is good. Summary dismissal of evidence without trying to understand it is…self limiting.