The familial aggregation of Alzheimer's disease: An epidemiological review

W. A. Rocca, L. Amaducci

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This report reviews current data on the familial aggregation of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Single pedigree reports indicate that in few families AD is inherited as an autosomal dominant single gene disorder. Family studies show that first-degree relatives of AD patients have a higher lifetime incidence of AD than the general population or groups of non-demented subjects. Case-control studies indicate that the risk of developing AD is significantly higher for subjects with family members affected by dementia than for those without. The concordance rate in monozygotic twin pairs was found to be much lower than expected from an autosomal dominant disease. These data are inconclusive; however, they suggest that in future etiologic studies 3 types of AD should be considered separately: Autosomal dominant, familial, and sporadic. Subclassification of AD by type of occurrence generates groups of patients which are probably more homogeneous regarding etiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalPsychiatric Developments
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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