By Amy L. Sutton
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Additional info for Alzheimer Disease Sourcebook, 5th Edition
Other neurotransmitters stimulate nerve cells, priming the receiving cell to become active or send an electrical signal down the axon to more neurons in the pathway. A neuron receives signals from many other neurons simultaneously, and the sum of a neuron’s neurotransmitter inputs at any one instant will determine whether it sends a signal down its axon to activate or inhibit the action of other neighboring neurons. During any one moment, millions of these signals are speeding through pathways in the brain, allowing the brain to receive and process information, make adjustments, and send out instructions to various parts of the body.
35 Alzheimer Disease Sourcebook, Fifth Edition Researchers have identiﬁed several genes that inﬂuence susceptibility to AD. Mutations in three of the known genes for AD—genes that control the production of proteins such as amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin 1, and presenilin 2—are linked to early-onset forms of the disease. Variations in another gene, called apolipoprotein E (apoE), have been linked to an increased risk of late-onset AD. The apoE gene does not cause the disease by itself, but one version of the gene, called apoE epsilon4 (apoE E4), appears to increase the risk of AD.
Although not all strokes cause dementia, in some cases a single stroke can damage the brain enough to cause dementia. This condition is called single-infarct dementia. Dementia is more common when the stroke takes place on the left side (hemisphere) of the brain and/ or when it involves the hippocampus, a brain structure important for memory. Another type of vascular dementia is called Binswanger disease. This rare form of dementia is characterized by damage to small blood vessels in the white matter of the brain (white matter is found in the inner layers of the brain and contains many nerve ﬁbers coated with 25 Alzheimer Disease Sourcebook, Fifth Edition a whitish, fatty substance called myelin).
Alzheimer Disease Sourcebook, 5th Edition by Amy L. Sutton
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