Stiffness of the aorta -- more so than blood pressure or subclinical brain disease -- is a key risk factor for dementia. Since aortic stiffness can be reduced by medication and healthy lifestyle changes, these results suggest that people can still lower their dementia risk well into old age.
Only a small proportion of cases of dementia are thought to be inherited -- the cause of the vast majority is unknown. Now a team of scientists believe they may have found an explanation: spontaneous errors in our DNA that arise as cells divide and reproduce.
People with a particular kind of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation may experience a faster decline in thinking and memory skills and have a greater risk of dementia than those without atrial fibrillation.