July 29, 2010
The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not yet fully understood, but scientists are zeroing in on the answers. This is one of the most exciting – and most important – areas of research, because understanding the causes lead to more targeted treatments and ways to prevent the disease.
Scientists generally agree that a single clear “cause” of Alzheimer’s is unlikely. The disease is more likely the result of a combination of inter-related factors, including genetics, environmental influences, and even lifestyle. Each of these “risk factors” is currently the subject of a great deal of research including a growing body of research to identify various “lifestyle factors,” such as dietary habits, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which may influence one’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
What is clear is that Alzheimer’s develops as a result of a complex cascade of biological processes in the brain that take place over many.
Stunning progress has been made recently in unraveling this cascade, and scientists now have a much clearer picture of what happens to the brain when Alzheimer’s strikes.