eISSN: 1509-572x
ISSN: 1641-4640
Folia Neuropathologica
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SCImago Journal & Country Rank
2/2019
vol. 57
 
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abstract:
Review paper

Risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease

Richard A. Armstrong

Folia Neuropathol 2019; 57 (2): 87-105
Online publish date: 2019/06/13
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Early reviews identified over 20 risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) including age, familial inheritance, exposure to aluminium, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and associated co-morbidities such as vascular disease and infection. In the light of recent evidence, this review reconsiders these risk factors, identifies those currently regarded as important, and discusses various hypotheses to explain how they may cause AD. Rare forms of early-onset familial AD (EO-FAD) are strongly linked to causal gene mutations, viz. mutations in amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin (PSEN1/2) genes. By contrast, late-onset sporadic AD (LO-SAD) is a multifactorial disorder in which age-related changes, genetic risk factors, such as allelic variation in apolipoprotein E (Apo E) and many other genes, vascular disease, TBI and risk factors associated with diet, the immune system, mitochondrial function, metal exposure, and infection are all implicated. These risk factors may act collectively to cause AD pathology: 1) by promoting the liberation of oxygen free radicals with age, 2) via environmental stress acting on regulatory genes early and later in life (‘dual hit’ hypothesis), or 3) by increasing the cumulative ‘allostatic load’ on the body over a lifetime. As a consequence, life-style changes which reduce the impact of these factors may be necessary to lower the risk of AD.
keywords:

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), risk factors, aging, genetics, environmental factors, allostatic load

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