chapter  10
Alzheimer’s disease: interaction of lifestyle factors and traumatic head injury
ByScholes-Balog, Kirsty, Albrecht, Matthew and Foster, Jonathan
Pages 23

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with insidious onset characterised by a primary impairment in episodic memory but subsequently extending to more wide-ranging neurocognitive and neurobehavioural impairment. Related to the aging demographic in many countries around the world, AD represents a major current health concern. In this chapter, we will examine the relationship between later onset AD (as the most prevalent form of AD; van der Flier, et al., 2011), traumatic head injury and some of the most prominent environmental risk and protective factors for AD. We first provide a general overview of the neuropathology of AD before critically reviewing the relationship between head injury and AD, highlighting potential inconsistencies in the literature and suggesting possible means of addressing these issues in future. In addition, we examine possible mechanisms underlying this putative relationship. Next, we provide a brief overview of the burgeoning literature examining the effects of lifestyle and dietary interventions and their relationship to the incidence of AD. In the final section, an exploration of potential additive/synergistic interactions between head injury and lifestyle factors are considered.