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Genetics and Genomics of Neuro-Psychiatric Diseases, III: The Common Dementias 

Genetics and Genomics of Neuro-Psychiatric Diseases, III: The Common Dementias
Chapter:
Genetics and Genomics of Neuro-Psychiatric Diseases, III: The Common Dementias
Author(s):

Amy Gerrish

, Rebecca Sims

, and Julie Williams

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199896028.003.0033
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date: 30 October 2020

Dementia is a collective syndrome of numerous diseases and conditions which are commonly defined by a global decline in cognitive functioning, including memory problems, difficulties with language use, as well as issues with executive functioning and other activities of daily living. The World Alzheimer Report estimates the global figure of dementia sufferers to be 35.6 million (Alzheimer’s Disease International, 2010), with this number predicted to almost double every 20 years. This increasing incidence makes dementia a major health concern with 115.4 million people predicted to be diagnosed with dementia by 2050. However, there is hope for future therapeutic intervention through recent advances in the molecular genetics of the dementias, which are pinpointing potential pathogenic mechanisms. Current understanding of the molecular genetics of the most common forms of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), vascular dementia (VaD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) offer new diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities in the multi-disciplinary management of both sporadic and familial dementias.

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