Alzheimer’s Disease: Theories of Causation

  • Walter G. Bradley
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 282)


Alzheimer’s disease will be the epidemic of the twenty-first century (1,2). The generally accepted figures are that 5% of individuals of the age of 65 have severe dementia, and another 10% have moderate dementia, with 30% having developed dementia if they live to the age of 90. The recent Boston study suggested that the figures were even higher, with 3% of those age 65 to 74 having probable Alzheimer’s disease, 18.7% of those 75 to 84, and 47.2% of those over 85 having probable Alzheimer’s disease (3). About 75% of patients with a clinical diagnosis of senile dementia prove to have Alzheimer’s disease, while a number of other disorders, such as multi-infarct dementia and other neurological degenerations, underlie the remaining proportion. Alzheimer’s disease is therefore going to be the major health care burden in the coming decades, both in terms of personal and family stress and of national health care costs. It is unnecessary, therefore, to emphasize the urgent need for an understanding of the cause of the disease and its treatment.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Neurofibrillary Tangle Motor Neuron Disease Senile Dementia Paired Helical Filament 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter G. Bradley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology College of MedicineThe University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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