Alzheimer's Disease FAQs (cont.)
What causes Alzheimer's disease?
What exactly causes Alzheimer's disease is not known in most cases. Most
often, a number of factors, rather than a single cause, come together in certain
people to cause the disease.
Two forms of Alzheimer's disease have been recognized.
- In familial Alzheimer's disease, a person's
genes directly cause the
disease. This form of disease is very rare; only a few hundred families
worldwide include individuals with the genes that cause this form of Alzheimer's
disease. However, individuals who inherit these genes will almost certainly
develop the disease, usually when younger than 65 years and sometimes as
young as 30 years. At least three different genes have been found to be related
early-onset or familial
- In sporadic Alzheimer's disease, the more common form of the disease, genes
do not cause the disease; however, certain genetic mutations have been shown to
increase an individual's risk of developing the condition. Cases of sporadic Alzheimer's disease occur in a less predictable
manner than familial Alzheimer's disease, and usually not as many members in the
same family acquire it compared to families with familial Alzheimer's disease.
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