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Genetika. 1999 Nov;35(11):1558-71.

[Genetic factors and a polygenic model of Alzheimer's disease].

[Article in Russian]

Author information

  • Mental Health Research Center, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia.


Genetic factors are responsible, to a certain degree, for many, if not all, Alzheimer's disease (AD) cases. A certain proportion of early-onset (below 65 years of age) AD cases follows an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance. Three genes were identified whose mutations account for 50-70% of early-onset monogenic AD cases in AD pedigrees. These are the genes of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and two presenilins (PS I and PS II). The polymorphic variant of apolipoprotein E, APOE epsilon 4, is a genetic causative factor in familial and sporadic cases of various early- and late-onset AD forms (it is found, in general, in 20-50% of all AD cases). The action of the epsilon 4 allele is codominant, with the AD risk increased in homozygotes (epsilon 4/epsilon 4 > epsilon 4 > epsilon 3 or epsilon 2). In contrast to the mutations in the PS I and APP genes, the APOE epsilon 4 allele is not a necessary and sufficient condition for AD development. Mutations in these genes have not been found in a proportion of familial early-onset AD cases and are not causative factors in the majority of late-onset familial and sporadic forms. The genes determining AD are evolutionarily conservative and are expressed in all human tissues as early as at initial ontogenetic stages. This raises the question as to why AD is a progressive disorder affecting certain cerebral regions only at middle or old age. A hypothesis and model are suggested to explain the interaction between evolutionary, ontogenetic, and epigenetic factors of the development of the central nervous system and the products of genes whose mutations result in AD. Findings of different mutant genes indicate that AD is a set of genetic disorders (ADs) with a common pathological manifestation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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