News Perspectives

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.

To continue reading this article you must be registered.

Get Licensed Content to Harvard Health

If you are interested in licensing content from Harvard Health Publications, please contact us using our online form. Our licensing and business development professionals will help you leverage consumer health content from Harvard Medical School as a clear differentiator in helping achieve your business goals.

Contact Us

Customer Log In