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Alzheimer's Disease

  1. Jun Wang,
  2. Silva Hecimovic,
  3. Alison Goate

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200300078

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Wang, J., Hecimovic, S. and Goate, A. 2006. Alzheimer's Disease. Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine.

Author Information

  1. Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, St. Louis, MO, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. It is characterized by a progressive loss of memory, reasoning, judgment, and orientation, by the presence of large numbers of extracellular senile plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, as well as substantial cell loss in the brain. Genetic studies in early onset families have identified mutations in three genes that cause AD, while genetic studies in sporadic AD have identified the apolipoprotein E4 allele as a risk factor for disease. In vitro cell biology and transgenic mouse studies implicate all of these genes in the biology of Aβ metabolism. A consistent effect of these genetic factors is an increase in Aβ deposition. Furthermore, cell biology studies have identified targets for possible treatment of AD. Transgenic models are now being used to test the validity of these targets and therapeutic approaches to the treatment of AD.

Keywords:

  • Association Study;
  • Autosomal Dominant Trait;
  • β-secretase;
  • Candidate Gene Study;
  • Full Genome Scan;
  • γ-secretase;
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles (NFTs);
  • Senile Plaques;
  • Susceptibility Locus/Gene;
  • Familial Alzheimer's Disease;
  • Sporadic Alzheimer's Disease