Being Raised in the Country 'Doubles Alzheimer's Risk'

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Byline: Pat Hagan

GROWING up in the countryside could double the risk of Alzheimer's disease, research suggests. Experts say there is a link between rural living and the disease - and people raised in the country, rather than those who moved there later in life, face the greatest dangers.

However, the reasons for this remain a mystery, they said.

Dr Tom Russ, from the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh, who led the study, said: 'We don't really know the mechanism.

'It could be to do with access to healthcare, exposure to some unknown substance, socio-economic factors, or a number of other factors.' He added: 'We're currently looking into this question in more detail.' Previous studies have looked at how the disease rates vary between urban and rural areas, but the results have been inconclusive due to different definitions of what constitutes city or country life.

To get a clearer picture, researchers from the University of Edinburgh, the Medical Research Council and University College London pooled the results of dozens of studies from all over the world dating back several decades, in a process known as a meta-analysis. …