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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an increasing epidemic threatening public health. Both men and women are susceptible to the disease although women are at a slightly higher risk. The prevalence of AD rises exponentially in elderly people from 1% at age of 65 to approximately 40%–50% by the age of 95. While the cause of the disease has not been fully understood, genetics plays a role in the onset of the disease. Mutations in three genes (APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2) have been found to cause AD and APOE4 allele increases the risk of the disease. As human genomic research progresses, more genes have been identified and linked with AD. Genetic screening tests for persons at high risk of AD are currently available and may help them as well as their families better prepare for a later life with AD.
阿尔茨海默氏病是一种不断增长的威胁公众健康的流行疾患. 男女两性均对此病易感, 以女性稍甚. 该病患病率在老年人群中呈指数上升, 65 岁时患病率约1%, 至95 岁时达到40%–50%. 尽맜病因尚未被完全了解, 遗传因素已被确认在其发病中扮演重要角色. 发生在三个基因(APP, PSEN1, PSEN2)中的突变可导致该病, 而APOE4等位基因与患病的危险增加有关. 随着人类基因组研究的进展, 可能会有更多与该病相关的基因被发现. 目前, 应用遗传筛选测试, 可以帮助阿尔茨海默氏病的高危人群更好地准备和应对未来可能发生的疾病.