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How is Alzheimer’s Disease Caused?

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The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown. However, it has been identified that multiple factors play a vital role in the development of the disorder, wherein these factors may cause the disorder either by itself or by interacting with the other factors.

Age

Increasing age is considered as the most common risk factor, as it is associated with numerous changes in the structure and composition of the various cells and tissues in the body.1,2 Damage to the certain specific proteins that may alter the functioning of the brain and certain minute changes in the gene structure have been implicated as the age-related changes that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.2

Hereditary Factors

Alzheimer’s disease tends to run in the family wherein certain genetic modifications observed in individual’s suffering from this disorder are passed on to their offspring. Such individuals tend to suffer from this disorder as their age progresses.1,2

Other Factors

Various other factors have been proposed to play a role in the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. These factors have been hypothesized to augment the changes in the brain that ultimately results in the loss of memory and other associated disturbances. These risk factors include the following:2

References:

1. Friedlander AH, Norman DC, M.E, Norman, KM, Yagiela, JA.  et al. Alzheimer’s disease: Psychopathology, medical management and dental implications. J Am Dent Assoc. 2006; 137(9): 1240-1251.

2. Munoz DG, Feldman. Causes of Alzheimer's disease. CMAJ. 2000; 162 (1).

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: March 19, 2015