What are the Causes of Alzheimer’s disease?

Genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors cause Alzheimer's disease.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Written by: Dr Poonam SachdevUpdated at: Dec 14, 2012 15:35 IST
What are the Causes of Alzheimer’s disease?

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Old manThe exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is not known but according to researchers, Alzheimer's disease probably results from the effect of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that impact the brain over time.




Specific genetic changes which lead to the development of the disease are present in less than 5 percent of the cases. Most people with Alzheimer's disease do not have a family history of the condition, but the risk of developing AD is increased if a member of your family has it.


Metal Ingestion


According to some theories metals such as zinc or aluminium possibly play a role in Alzheimer's disease. But there is no concrete evidence to support these theories. Hence experts do not recommend reducing zinc in diet or avoiding items that contain aluminium, such as cooking utensils or soda pop cans.


Although the cause of AD is not properly understood, the effect of AD on brain is clear. In this brain disorder, the brain cells degenerate and die, resulting in fewer cells and there are also fewer connections among surviving cells than in a healthy brain. There is loss of chemical messengers or neurotransmitters as well in the brain, particularly acetylcholine which facilitates the proper communication of nerve cells in the brain.  All these probably cause a steady decline in cognition, memory and mental function.

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