• Research suggests that Alzheimer’s is triggered by many things, including age, genetics, brain inflammation, and other factors.
  • Age is the most important known risk factor, but genetic researchers have zeroed in on several chromosomes that may also play a role.
  • As understanding of the disease gradually improves, researchers are exploring different approaches to treatment.

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Learn about dementia and some of its non-Alzheimer’s causes.

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Current research indicates that Alzheimer’s disease may be triggered by a multitude of factors, including age, genetic makeup, damage to neurons from the overproduction of toxic free radicals, serious head injuries, brain inflammation, and environmental factors.

As the search for the causes of Alzheimer’s continues, researchers are also testing the effectiveness of various treatments that can prevent the disease, reduce or delay its symptoms, or halt its progress.

Clinical Studies

To learn about participating in an Alzheimer’s-related study, contact the ADEAR Center at 1-800-438-4380 or their site.

There are two types of Alzheimer’s disease: sporadic Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for more than 90 percent of all cases, and familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD). Unlike sporadic Alzheimer’s disease, FAD usually strikes before age 65 and follows an obvious inheritance pattern, enabling researchers to explore genetic risk factors.

Scientists are also exploring new approaches to treatment. Since the 1970s, much research has been focused on reducing the formation of the plaques (protein clumps) found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. New approaches include research that focuses instead on the regrowth of synapses (the connections between neurons). Promising early results will lead to further research.

Next Step: Learn about dementia and some of its non-Alzheimer’s causes.

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Experts at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America have the answers to your toughest Alzheimer’s and dementia questions.

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