, Volume 27, Issue 11, pp 831-836
Date: 07 Nov 2012

Next frontiers in the genetic epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease

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A recent report by Alzheimer Disease International showed that the number of persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease will quadruple by 2050 (http://www.alz.co.uk/research/world-report-2011). This increase is predicted to occur globally and will likely pose a great societal burden, both in terms of financial costs as well as suffering for patients and care-givers [1]. Thus, there is a strong incentive to develop effective preventive and therapeutic strategies. In order to develop such strategies, full knowledge of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease is an essential first step. Similarly, identification of people at high risk of Alzheimer’s disease is equally important. Fully understanding the disease pathology and early detection methods would facilitate implementation of targeted interventions in those people, who would benefit from it most.

Genetic research has been essential to the fundamental understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. Family studies have repeatedly shown strong