Alzheimer's disease: a model from the quantitative study of a large kindred.

SMID-SUD Group, Lamezia Terme, Italy.
Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology (Impact Factor: 1.63). 07/1992; 5(3):126-31. DOI: 10.1177/002383099200500301
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In an Italian kindred (family N), early onset Alzheimer's disease has been transmitted in a Mendelian autosomal fashion since the early 18th century. The age at death of affected members of the family varies widely, and was taken as an index of the age of expression, a measure of phenotypic variability. Either a gamma or a log-normal algorithm provides the best fit for the age at death distribution. Subsets of family N widely different as to time and place have the same age at death of patients: Environment appears to play a negligible role in the expression of disease. Pairwise correlation between an affected parent and child is zero: The disease is monogenic (no major expression gene). The same stochastic distribution of age of expression, but with late onset, and after correction for death from other causes, is compatible with the epidemiology of Alzheimer's disease in general. Mendelian genetics is a possible model for Alzheimer's disease etiology.