Age and family history are risk factors for AD.

  • As you get older, your risk of developing AD goes up. However, developing Alzheimer's disease is not a part of normal aging.
  • Having a close blood relative, such as a brother, sister, or parent who developed AD increases your risk.
  • Having certain combination of genes for proteins that appear to be abnormal in Alzheimer's disease also increases your risk.

Other risk factors that are not as well proven include:

  • Longstanding high blood pressure
  • History of head trauma
  • Female gender

The brain of a person with Alzheimer's contains abnormal clumps of cellular debris and protein(plaques) and collapsed microtubules (support structures of the cell).

The cause of AD is not entirely known, but is thought to include both genetic and environmental factors. A diagnosis of AD is made when certain symptoms are present, and by making sure other causes of dementia are not present.



Because Alzheimer's destroys brain cells, people who have the disorder slowly lose their ability to think clearly. At first, they may forget words or names, or have trouble finding things. As the disorder worsens, they may forget how to do simple tasks (such as walking to a friend's house or brushing their hair). Some people with Alzheimer's also feel nervous or sad.

Risk Factors

  • Old age (65-90 years)
  • Family history
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Low levels of vitamin folate
  • Down's syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Gender (Women are at a greater risk)


All though I couldn't find much history on alzheimers, I found history of the study of it.
The study was designed to investigate whether the emotional content can influence memory in patients affected by AD and whether this effect is related to attentional processes as measured by event-related potentials (ERP).
Methods: All subjects were administered neuropsychological tests and a logical memory test including emotional and nonemotional material. ERP were recorded during an attention task.
Results: AD patients had better immediate recall of sad and, to a lesser extent, happy stories than of neutral stories. This difference also affected multiple choice recognition and identification of emotional content.
Conclusions: The results show relatively preserved emotional processing in patients with AD and suggest that the emotional content of a context can influence memory performance. They found no evidence that this effect is mediated by attention as measured by ERP.