Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is most commonly known for affecting movement. It primarily impacts dopaminergic, or dopamine-producing, neurons in a specific area of the brain known as the substantia nigra.
While there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, research efforts have significantly deepened our understanding of the factors associated with an increased risk of its development. In this article, we will discuss established risk factors for Parkinson’s disease and all-cause dementia.
Similar to Alzheimer’s disease, there is no single cause of Parkinson’s disease. Experts currently believe Parkinson’s disease is multifactorial, meaning it is not caused by a single factor, but rather develops from some combination of several factors. In the case of Parkinson’s disease, these factors are primarily genetic and environmental.
Many neurological diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, can induce dementia. In the same way that Alzheimer’s can cause Alzheimer’s disease-related dementia, Parkinson’s can cause Parkinson’s disease-related dementia.
With that in mind, it is important to not only understand the risk factors for Parkinson’s disease itself, but also the risk factors for all-cause dementia. In a 2020 report of the Lancet Commission, they identified 12 potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia, as shown below.
|Risk Factor||Relative Risk for Dementia (95% CI)||Risk Factor Prevalence|
|>>Early-Life (age <45 years)|
|Midlife (age 45-65)|
|Traumatic Brain Injury||1.8||12.1%|
|Alcohol (>21 units/week)||1.2||11.8%|
|Obesity (body mass index ≥30)||1.6||3.4%|
|Later Life (age >65)|
*Note: A relative risk value greater than 1.00 indicates increased risk of developing all-cause dementia, while a relative risk value less than 1.00 indicates decreased risk of developing all-cause dementia.
Experts estimate that the act of modifying these risk factors may prevent or delay up to 40% of dementia cases. It is never too early or too late to start making positive lifestyle changes and taking charge of your brain health. Here are several actionable steps you can take to control risk factors and promote brain health:
Like many other diseases and disorders, early intervention and early treatment of Parkinson’s disease is likely to produce better health outcomes. Additionally, many treatments, such as levodopa, are more effective when administered early in the disease continuum. People with known risk factors for Parkinson’s disease should be regularly assessed for changes in brain function to enable the earliest possible detection.
At Altoida, we are dedicated to providing a reliable, affordable, and highly accurate way to measure and monitor your brain health. We are building the world’s-first Precision Neurology platform and app-based medical device—backed by 11 years of clinical validation—to accelerate and improve drug development, neurological disease research, and patient care.
By completing a 10-minute series of augmented reality and motor activities designed to simulate complex Activities of Daily Living on a smartphone or tablet, Altoida’s device extracts and provides robust measurements of neurocognitive function across 13 neurocognitive domains. Our device measures and analyzes nearly 800 multimodal cognitive and functional digital biomarkers. Through the collection of highly granular data from integrated smartphone or tablet sensors, Altoida’s device produces comprehensive neurocognitive domain scores. This data can be tracked longitudinally to reveal trends and patterns while flagging concerning ones.
This method, along with our innovative artificial intelligence, will pioneer fully digital predictive neurological disease diagnosis. In 2021, our device received Breakthrough Device designation by the FDA. Altoida's platform has demonstrated the ability to predict conversion from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer's disease with a high degree of accuracy.
Currently, we are working to enable early and accurate diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease through AI-powered precision diagnosis. Our technology will be utilized to monitor disease progression as well as to measure therapeutic response in Parkinson’s disease patients.
To learn more about risk factors for Parkinson’s disease or about using Altoida’s Precision Neurology platform to monitor your brain health, contact us today.