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ID 2144

Environmental factors and Alzheimer's disease

Description:
Professor Dennis Selkoe points out that although Alzheimer's disease is primarily a genetic disorder, environmental factors do contribute.
Transcript:
We’ve known for maybe 30 years, 40 years, even 50 years that there are genetic factors that lead to Alzheimer’s disease, but the question comes up ‘what about the Alzheimer’s [disease] patients who don’t have a clear cut family history?’ There are many people who get Alzheimer’s [disease] in their 70’s, 80’s and beyond, and there is no knowledge that anyone else had it. We think that either that means it’s a complex genetic trait, and no one gene is simply responsible and so it isn’t a simple linear genetic inheritance, and/or there is an environmental factor that led that person to have Alzheimer's [disease] without a family history. I emphasize this issue of family history because actually most of the evidence suggests that genetics is the number one factor that leads to Alzheimer’s [disease], and environmental factors seem to be less crucial. But it could well be, and I think it is, that certain genetic pre-dispositions don’t automatically cause Alzheimer’s disease 100% of the time, but interact with an environmental factor.
Keywords:
alzheimer, environment, environmental, factor, dennis, selkoe
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Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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