Many factors may increase Alzheimer's risk, including age, family history, and genetic makeup.
Certain health issues, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, may also influence the odds of experiencing dementia because they impact the blood vessels.
New research indicates that psychological factors could also affect risk. Psychological distress, in particular, may increase the likelihood of developing dementia, suggests the new study, Medical News Today reports.
Specifically, researchers led by Sabrina Islamoska, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, set out to investigate the possibility of a link between vital exhaustion and Alzheimer's disease.
Vital exhaustion describes "a mental state of psychological distress" that manifests as irritability, fatigue, and a feeling of demoralization.
As the researchers explain, vital exhaustion may be a reaction to "unsolvable problems" in one's life, especially when the person has been exposed to stressors for a prolonged period. So, vital exhaustion can be seen as a sign of psychological distress.
Previous studies have noted that vital exhaustion may raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, premature death, and obesity, among other conditions.
Islamoska and her colleagues published their findings in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.