Background: Dementias due to neurodegenerative disorders and more specifically, Alzheimer’s
disease (AD) are the most frequent of all diseases within the industrialized world. Besides
this alarming fact, it is noted too that almost three-quarter of people with AD reside in low or middle-
income nations. In recent years, cognitive and behavioral neuroscientists have focused on a
possible correlation between environmental agents and genetic risk factors for these dementias.
Methods: In this narrative review, a close review of Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System
was conducted. The authors aimed at analyzing possible interactions between lifestyle patterns
and major risk factors responsible for cognitive decline and dementia, considering that the prevention
or treatment of midlife modifiable risks may possibly reduce population-wide late-life pathological
Results: This review focuses on modifiable risk factors for late-life cognitive decline. A growing
number of studies have indicated that the impact of genetics and epigenetic factors on dementia risk
is dependent on different lifestyle factors, ranging from leisure activities and nutritional habits,
through to social interaction and toxic exposure.
Conclusion: Despite all evidence regarding modifiable risk factors possibly reducing the risk of
developing dementia in later life, many unanswered questions remain regarding the direct influence
of these variables in later life. People who regularly and actively participate in different lifelong activities
(social, cultural and intellectual) do tend to perform better on formal cognitive tests, experience
fewer cognitive complaints, and are less likely to develop neurodegenerative disorders.