What causes Alzheimer’s disease?
The causes of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are a much-pondered mystery. Ever since Alois Alzheimer identified the characteristic plaques and tangles of the disease in the early 20th century, researchers and scientists have ardently pursued hundreds of different leads in a quest to understand and combat its destructive nature. The pace of this research has accelerated in recent years, with scientists turning up new information almost daily.
Investigating the causes of Alzheimer’s is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. The problem is, no one knows what the finished product will look like. Furthermore, the jumbled pieces seem to come from several different and seemingly unrelated puzzles. Until the final picture is complete, the hope is that identifying and understanding more about the factors involved in Alzheimer’s disease will lead to new treatment and prevention strategies.
Before we examine some of the factors involved in Alzheimer’s, it’s important to draw a distinction between two forms of the disease. Scientists classify Alzheimer’s disease into early-onset and lateonset forms, using the age of 65 as a dividing line. People younger