Alzheimer's Disease Candidate Genes

Genes that can cause neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques are strongly associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Much of the research relating to Alzheimer's genes focuses on neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques, both of which are associated with memory loss by blocking synapse function. Tangles are thin, twisted bundles of protein inside neurons, which can result from mutations in the tau protein. Amyloid plaques are clumps of proteins that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Genes responsible for the formation of amyloid plaques can be understood in terms of three interacting groups: 1) Increased production of amyloid protein: Mutations in the APP gene, PS1 gene, or PS2 gene can lead to the production of too much amyloid protein. These genes are particularly associated with early-onset Alzheimer's. 2) Accelerated plaque formation of amyloid protein: The APOE gene has a number of different isoforms (APOE2, APOE3, and APOE4). APOE4 binds rapidly to beta amyloid, which may lead to excess retention in the brain. 3) Decreased clearing of amyloid protein: A third gene group consisting of many candidate genes may be involved in removing amyloid build-up. Failure to remove amyloid from the brain may also lead to an eventual build up of the protein. These three causal mechanisms for Alzheimer's can interact with one other. For example, combining excessive production of amyloid with an impairment in removing build-up of the protein could increase the probability of developing Alzheimer’s.

alzheimer, alzheimer's disease, candidate genes, beta amyloid, amyloid, neurofibrillary tangles, tau protein, APP, apoe, apoe4, tau, ps1, ps2, psen1, psen2, presenilin

  • ID: 1447
  • Source: DNALC.G2C

Related Content

1450. Presenilin 2 Gene

Presenilin 1 (PS1 or PSEN1) and presenilin 2 (PS2 or PSEN2) are proteins that span the cell membrane and are primarily expressed in neurons.

  • ID: 1450
  • Source: G2C

1449. Presenilin 1 Gene

Presenilin 1 (PS1 or PSEN1) and presenilin 2 (PS2 or PSEN2) are proteins that span the cell membrane and are primarily expressed in neurons.

  • ID: 1449
  • Source: G2C

1452. Tau Gene (MAPT)

Neurofibrillary tangles are bundles of tau proteins, which mark the tau gene (MAPT) as a strong candidate for Alzheimer’s disease.

  • ID: 1452
  • Source: G2C

794. Background to Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes a gradual and irreversible loss of higher brain functions, including memory, language skills, and perception of time and space,

  • ID: 794
  • Source: G2C

1451. Apolipoprotein (APOE) Gene

Individuals with two copies of APOE4, have a dramatically increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

  • ID: 1451
  • Source: G2C

2227. Alzheimer's disease

An overview of Alzheimer's disease-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.

  • ID: 2227
  • Source: G2C

2029. Neurofibrillary tangles and Alzheimer's disease

Professor Kenneth Kosik discusses neurofibrillary tangles, which form inside a cell and are made up of a protein called tau. There is a strong relationship with plaques and amyloid deposition.

  • ID: 2029
  • Source: G2C

2135. APP - amyloid clearance and production

Professor Dennis Selkoe compares the amyloid precursor (or parent) protein to a Bic pen. The clasp part seems to be the bad guy, and is part of a network involving presenilin and ApoE4.

  • ID: 2135
  • Source: G2C

2173. Neurofibrillary tangles

Professor Donna Wilcock describes neurofibrillary tangles, which form inside the neuron in Alzheimer's disease and are composed of tau proteins.

  • ID: 2173
  • Source: G2C

2336. Neurofibrillary Tangles - Hallmark of Alzheimer's Disease

Doctor Brian Bacskai discusses what a tangle is and how it leads to death of neurons.

  • ID: 2336
  • Source: G2C