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Biochem Pharmacol. 2014 Apr 15;88(4):640-51. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2013.12.024. Epub 2014 Jan 4.

Alzheimer disease: epidemiology, diagnostic criteria, risk factors and biomarkers.

Author information

1
Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States; Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States; Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States.
2
Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States; Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States; Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States; Department of Epidemiology, Joseph P. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States; Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States. Electronic address: rpm2@columbia.edu.

Abstract

The global prevalence of dementia is as high as 24 million, and has been predicted to quadruple by the year 2050. In the US alone, Alzheimer disease (AD) - the most frequent cause of dementia characterized by a progressive decline in cognitive function in particular the memory domain - causes estimated health-care costs of $ 172 billion per year. Key neuropathological hallmarks of the AD brain are diffuse and neuritic extracellular amyloid plaques - often surrounded by dystrophic neurites - and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. These pathological changes are frequently accompanied by reactive microgliosis and loss of neurons, white matter and synapses. The etiological mechanisms underlying these neuropathological changes remain unclear, but are probably caused by both environmental and genetic factors. In this review article, we provide an overview of the epidemiology of AD, review the biomarkers that may be used for risk assessment and in diagnosis, and give suggestions for future research.

KEYWORDS:

Biomarkers; Neurofibrillary tangles; Neuropathological

PMID:
24398425
PMCID:
PMC3992261
DOI:
10.1016/j.bcp.2013.12.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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