Shedding light on Alzheimer’s

Is the disease preventable?

A study led by a San Francisco mental-health researcher found that more than half of all Alzheimer’s disease cases are caused by risk factors that could potentially be controlled, according to a UCSF news release.

Dr. Deborah Barnes, a researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, analyzed data from studies involving hundreds of thousands of participants worldwide, and concluded that the biggest modifiable risk factors for contracting the disease are low education, smoking, physical inactivity, depression, mid-life hypertension, diabetes and mid-life obesity. Combined, those factors are associated with up to 54 percent of Alzheimer’s cases in the United States, Barnes concluded.

Barnes presented her findings at the 2011 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Paris on July 20. To view the full report, visit