Study Tracks Amyloid Links to Dementia Risk
Deposits called amyloid plaques may appear in the brain 20 years or more before people develop signs of dementia, a research review finds. These plaques are more often found in older adults. But they also are seen more often in younger adults with a high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, the study showed. The study was based on previous research. It included 1,359 people with diagnosed Alzheimer's disease, 538 people with other types of dementia and autopsy results for 1,369 others with Alzheimer's. The living subjects all had PET scans to look for amyloid plaques in the brain. Among those with normal memory and thinking skills, these plaques were more common with age. About 10% of 50-year-olds had them. That increased to 33% at age 80 and 44% at age 90. Some people carried the APOE4 gene variant, which is linked with a higher risk of Alzheimer's.