Genetic and environmental contributions to cognitive decline in aging and Alzheimer's disease


Journal Article

Inheritance appears to play a strong role in terms of human longevity and also in risk for chronic neurodegenerative diseases of late life such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Understanding the role of genes in normal biological aging of the nervous system and in the expression of AD pathological changes is important for developing useful disease targets for clinical intervention and treatment. The extent to which gene expression can be altered through environmental exposures may also provide important clues for disease prevention. In this chapter, we consider the role of genetic and environmental factors in AD risk and in age-related cognitive decline. We focus, in particular, on targets that are potentially modifiable with respect to exerting positive effects on cognition and AD risk. In this context, we conclude the chapter by considering lifestyle approaches to disease prevention and enhancement of successful cognitive aging that extend from the current state of evidence and discuss areas for future research development. © 2010 Springer Publishing Company.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Welsh-Bohmer, KA; Plassman, BL; Hayden, KM

Published Date

  • January 1, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 81 - 114

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0198-8794

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1891/0198-8794.30.81

Citation Source

  • Scopus