The Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease

Diseases such as cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease are single-gene disorders. If a person inherits the gene that causes one of these disorders, he or she will usually get the disease. Alzheimer’s disease, on the other hand, is not caused by a single gene.

The two basic types of AD are familial and sporadic. Familial AD (FAD) is a rare form of early-onset AD, affecting less than 10 percent of AD patients. The majority of AD cases are sporadic, late-onset, usually developing after age 65. More than one gene mutation can cause AD, and genes on multiple chromosomes are involved. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Regarding the National Institutes of Health’s Recent Findings

As you may know, recently the National Institutes of Health convened a state-of-the-science conference on preventing Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.   An independent panel of experts was appointed to conduct a thorough review of published literature and to hear oral presentations by experts in prevention research over the course of the conference.  At the end of the conference, this panel put out a statement concluding that currently there is insufficient evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of interventions to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.  To view the panel’s statement in its entirety please visit  http://consensus.nih.gov/2010/alzstatement.htm

 The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF) believes that the pessimistic findings announced by the panel speak more to an ongoing lack of focus on Alzheimer’s prevention than to an actual lack of promising preventive strategies.  The ARPF continues to advocate an integrative prevention and treatment program to maximize brain health and function, which combines certain pharmaceutical medications with dietary supplementation, nutritional therapy, physical and cognitive exercise, stress management, and mind-body therapy. This week the Arizona Daily Star published an opinion editorial that I wrote as the Founding President and Medical Director of the ARPF, in response to the NIH panel’s findings.  You may follow this link to read the editorial http://bit.ly/cXt5z4.

 I do believe that a holistic medical program creates the greatest chance of preventing Alzheiemr’s disease, I call these the “4 Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention” – 1) Diet & Supplements, 2) Stress Management, 3) Exercise, and 4) Medicines and have talked about these in this blog for over a year. I hope you will join me in continuing to spread the word about Alzheimer’s prevention – our best hope for the eradication of this dread disease.