Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for more
than half of cases with cognitive impairment. With numbers of patients expected to rise sharply over
the following years in parallel with the ageing of population, there is intense clinical interest in
discovering modifiable risk factors that may contribute to the increasing prevalence of AD.
Accumulating data from in vitro and epidemiological studies have highlighted the vascular
component of AD and raised hope that treatment of vascular risk factors could eventually lead to
primary prevention of AD. Among all the possible pathologic processes that have been tested for an
association with AD, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia are the most prominent. Here, we will
briefly review the data highlighting a potential correlation of these diseases with AD. Then, we will
present observational studies and clinical trials that assessed the impact of their respective approved
medical therapies on AD incidence. We conclude by providing clinical information for the physician on potentially
effective and non-effective medical treatments. Further research is ongoing and time will show whether AD will cease to
be considered a pure, non-preventable neurodegenerative process or whether vascular risk factor management may also
result in primary AD prevention.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, dementia, protection, vascular risk factors.
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