Alzheimer’s Disease: Genetic Theories of Etiology

  • John C. S. Breitner


Despite the enormous public-health problem of Alzheimer’s disease* (AD), the current understanding of its causes is slight. There is encouraging new knowledge of the underlying structural and chemical mechanisms of the disease process (much of it summarized elsewhere in this volume). But disappointingly little is known about etiology, the causes of these changes. Epidemiological studies of AD have revealed only one firmly established risk factor (apart from age): the presence of relatives affected with the disease (Heston et al., 1981; Whalley et al., 1982; Hagnell et al., 1983; Heyman et al., 1983, 1984; French et al., 1985; Amaducci, 1985). This chapter evaluates the evidence that genetic vulnerability, as suggested by the familial aggregation of AD, contributes substantially to its pathogenesis.


Cumulative Incidence Index Case Familial Risk Senile Dementia Familial Aggregation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. S. Breitner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, and Center for Studies on Aging and Human DevelopmentDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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