Familial Alzheimer’s Disease

Familial Alzheimer’s Disease (FAD) is a very rare form of Alzheimer’s, and runs in very few families. If a parent has a specific mutated gene, then any children have a 50% chance of inheriting and developing the disease. The presence of the specific mutated gene means that the person will eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease, usually in their 40’s or 50’s.

This form of Alzheimer’s affects a very small number of people. The total known number of FAD cases worldwide is about 200 people. All instances of FAD that have been studied so far have a much earlier onset, and as many as 50 percent of FAD cases are now known to be caused by defects in one or more of three genes located on three different chromosomes inside the person’s cells:

1.Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) Mutation: Some families have mutations in a gene called amyloid precursor protein (APP), which causes an abnormal form of the amyloid protein to be produced.

2.Presenilin 1 Mutation: Other families have mutations in a gene called presenilin 1, which causes an abnormal presenilin 1 protein to be produced.

3.Presenilin 2 Mutation: Presenilin 2 is a gene very similar to presenilin 1, and when this gene is mutated, then it causes an abnormal presenilin 2 protein to be produced.

Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease

It is highly likely that the Alzheimer’s results from a complex and interrelated combination of genetic and non-genetic factors.

These so called risk factors influence a person’s risk to developing Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, each of these risk factors is the subject of a great deal of research around the world.

Genetic Risk Factors

A person’s genetic make up can directly influence the chances for the onset and development of Alzheimer’s. A person’s genes are inherited from their biological parents and passed along family lines to their biological children.

There are two main types of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Familial Alzheimer’s Disease (FAD): is a very rare form of Alzheimer’s Disease which runs in families. Also known as Early Onset Alzheimer’s or Younger Onset Alzheimer’s.

Sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease: is the most common form of Alzheimer’s Disease, but researchers are still trying to work out how this develops. Also known as Late Onset Alzheimer’s.

Mild Cognitive Impairment

The term Mild Cognitive Impairment, or MCI, is increasingly being used to describe a syndrome of memory impairment that does NOT significantly impact daily activities and is not accompanied by declines in overall cognitive function.

Researchers have found that between 6 and 25 percent of people with MCI progress on to Alzheimer’s, which has raised questions about whether MCI might represent some kind of “transitional stage” between normal aging and dementia. Many experts currently believe that MCI, as well as age-related memory loss, may always be an early form of Alzheimer’s, and progression to symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease may be only a matter of time. However, in some people, the progression may be very slow, so the person may die of other causes before displaying the full spectrum of Alzheimer’s symptoms. MCI is recognized as a clinical condition that requires ongoing assessment and possibly treatment to delay its progression.

Research into MCI is continuing.

Dementia With Lewy Bodies

A significant number of people diagnosed with dementia are found to have tiny spherical structures called Lewy bodies in the nerve cells of their brains. It is thought these may contribute to the death of brain cells. The symptoms of this form of dementia are often mild at the outset and can be extremely variable from day to day.

Common symptoms include

    Fluctuation in the condition
    Visual hallucinations
    Extreme sensitivity to classical anti-psychotic medications leading to marked symptoms of stiffness, tremor and restriction of movement

Dementia with Lewy bodies sometimes occurs with Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular dementia.

Pick’s Disease

Pick’s Disease causes progressive and irreversible decline in a person’s abilities over a number of years. It is a rare disorder of the frontal part of the brain which can be very difficult to diagnose. The disease usually appears between 40 and 65 years of age.

Disturbances of personality, behavior and language may come before, and initially be more severe than, memory defects.

Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s Disease is an inherited degenerative brain disorder which affects the mind and body. Huntington’s Disease affects approximately 7 in every 100,000 people in the western world. The disease usually appears between 30 and 50 years of age. Huntington’s Disease is characterized by intellectual decline and irregular, involuntary movement of the limbs or facial muscles. Other symptoms include:

Types of Dementia

There are many different forms of dementia and each has its own causes. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for between 50% and 70% of all dementias.

The effects of the different types of dementia are similar, but not identical, as each one tends to affect different parts of the brain.

Here are the most common forms of dementia :

AIDS related dementia
Alcohol related dementia

Alzheimer’s disease, has two forms :

Familial Alzheimer’s Disease (FAD), also known as Early Onset Alzheimer’s or Younger Onset Alzheimer’s.
Sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease, also known as Late Onset Alzheimer’s. See section below.

Dementia with Lewy bodies: Another common form of dementia, sharing many similarities with Alzheimer’s disease.

Down syndrome: Research has established a link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.

Frontal lobe dementia, including Pick’s disease.

Vascular Dementia: The second most common cause of dementia, after Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of brain disorders that impair a person’s mental functioning, especially memory, thinking, and behavior.

The term dementia literally means loss of mentation or thinking. Dementia is a broad term which describes the loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and normal emotional reactions.

Most people with dementia are older, but it is important to remember that most older people do not get dementia. It is not a normal part of the ageing process. Dementia can happen to anybody, but it is more common in people over 65 years of age. People in their 40s and 50s can also develop dementia.

There are many different forms of dementia and each has its own causes. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for between 50% and 70% of all dementia cases.

Asthma Triggers

Asthma is a chronic lung condition that is characterized by difficulty in breathing. People with asthma have extra sensitive or hyper-responsive airways. During an asthma attack, the airways become irritated and react by narrowing and constructing, causing increased resistance to airflow, and obstructing the flow of the air passages to and from the lungs.

What triggers an asthma attack ?

The words “trigger factors”, or “triggers” of asthma are used for the things which can cause an attack in someone who already has asthma.

Many things seem to be able to bring on, or trigger, an asthma attack, and the causes and triggers vary greatly from person to person. Dogs and cats cause asthma attacks in some people. While for others, tobacco smoke, cold air, exercise and even laughing can trigger attacks too. Some people with asthma report that the asthma attacks are worse when they are upset, anxious or under stress. Some people get asthma if they take aspirin or other painkillers, and some get asthma from dusts or fumes at work.

Really bad asthma attacks, which force people to go into hospital, often happen after a virus infection of your nose or chest.

Male & Female Intelligence Brain Areas Differ

Although there are virtually no disparities in general intelligence between the sexes, a UC Irvine study has found significant differences in brain areas where males and females manifest their intelligence. […]