If Alzheimer's disease runs in your family, you may be more likely to have
brain changes associated with the disorder even before symptoms such as memory
and thinking problems occur, according to new research.
An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, a number
expected to increase dramatically as the baby boomer generation ages. The
Alzheimer's Association predicts that the number of people aged 65 and older
with the condition will reach 7.1 million by 2025.
To get a better handle on risk for Alzheimer's disease, researchers at Duke
University looked at brain scans of more than 250 adults aged 55 to 89. Some had
no signs of memory or thinking problems, while others did.
"In early-onset Alzheimer's disease, the genetics are much more clear-cut and
we can test family members and know if they will develop Alzheimer's," said
senior author Dr P Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at